South Korea has qualified for its 10th successive World Cup after beating Syria 2-0 in Dubai on Tuesday 1 February 2022. Goals scored by Kim Jin-su and Kwon Chang-hoon in the second half of the match gave South Korea the lead over the bottom team in Asia Group A qualifying.
South Korea has moved 11 points clear of the United Arab Emirates which is in third place, and has just three more games remaining. The top two teams from each of the two groups automatically qualify. The third-place teams advance to the playoffs.
In Group B, a goal from Takumi Minamino in the first half put Japan in front of Saudi Arabia who they eventually beat by 2-0 at the Saitama Stadium and keeps the host on course for a seventh successive FIFA World Cup appearance.
Minamino’s goal from close range after 31 minutes was created by Junya Ito. The Belgian-based winger then added the second soon after the restart with a fierce shot from the edge of the area to seal the first defeat for the Saudis in the group.
Saudi Arabia, which would have qualified for a sixth World Cup with a victory, still leads the group with 19 points, one more than Japan. Australia will move on to 17 after winning the match against Oman.
Vietnam which has the last place in the group had previously lost all of its seven games in Group B, but then managed to defeat China 3-1 in Hanoi. This defeat ended China’s chances of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ for just the second time.
Source and cover image credit: AP
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