DHAKA: A second half penalty helped Central Asian side Tajikistan draw with Bangladesh 1-1 and secure a vital away goal advantage in the Asian qualification round one for the 2010 FIFA World Cup on Monday evening.
Zumratul Hossain Mithu hit the opener at the Bangabandhu Stadium for the Syed Nayeemudin-trained hosts on 50 minutes but the Tajiks equalized eight minutes later through Numondzhon Khakimov, who made no mistake from the spot.
Bangladesh travel to Dushanbe on October 28 for the return leg, with the away goal struck by their rivals weighing heavily on their minds.
Thailand trounce Macau 6-1
BANGKOK: Thailand put one foot into the next round of the Asian qualification campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup after thrashing Macau 6-1 in the first leg of the first round on Monday.
Ranked 71 spots below Thailand, who are 117th worldwide, Macau seemed to be in with a chance when Kin Seng Chan pulled one back in the 22nd minute after Sarayoot Chaikamdee’s 11th minute opener and Teerasil Dangda’s 20th minute strike.
But goals from Chaikamdee (47), Teeratep Winothai (53 penalty), Patiparn Phetpun (82) and Datsakorn Thonglao (90+ 1) buried Masanaga Kageyama’s minnows.
The return leg sees the ASEAN heavyweights, who are coached by Chanvit Phalajivin, travel to Macau on October 15.
UAE leave it late against Vietnam
HANOI: A late goal by Basheer Al Hammadi saw the UAE edge Vietnam 1-0 in the opening leg of the first round of their Asian qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup on Monday evening.
Al Hammadi struck 10 minutes from time and this was enough for the Bruno Metsu-coached West Asian side to claim a crucial away goal cushion for the return leg which will be played in Abu Dhai on October 28.
The two rivals were renewing their rivalry after their July clash in the AFC Asian Cup™ group stage which was convincingly won by Vietnam 2-0.
From the 19 teams that clear the first round, the lowest eight based on ranking move on to the second round and the other 11 to round three. The five top seeds – Australia, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Iran – join the qualification process in the third round.
The draw for the third round will take place in Durban, South Africa, on
SAIDA: Lebanon posted a big 4-1 victory over India in the opening leg of the first round of Asian qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup on Monday night.
Sunil Chhetri gave India the lead on the stroke of 30 minutes but this was all the visitors could manage. Roda Antar took just five minutes to neutralize the advantage before Mohamad Ghadar (61) and Mahmoud El Ali (62) hit quickfire goals to make the game safe for the hosts. Ghadar netted his brace 15 minutes from time.
The return leg takes place in Chennai on October 28 and Bob Houghton’s India have a mountain to climb if they are to have a sniff at second round action.
Meanwhile, Singapore destroyed Palestine 4-0 after an inspired performance which saw them leading 1-0 upto the break at the Al Rayyan Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Radojko Avramovic’s men were fired into the lead by Shi Jiayi a minute before the half time whistle and the same player struck the second goal eight minutes into the restart. John Wilkinson made it 3-0 in the 73rd minute and Noh Alam Shah sealed the win with his 86th minute goal.
"It was a good result,” said Avramovic.
"I felt tonight we scored the goals that we couldn’t score against the UAE (last month) and in the June friendly tournament (against DPR Korea, Saudi Arabia and Australia) so it was good to see all the things we tried out at training finally coming off.”
"(Shi) Jiayi scored two very good goals and I felt that John (Wilkinson) did well, providing extra security in midfield and doing plenty of running and passing.”
"I am happy to see that no one is seriously injured so the players must take care of themselves when they go back to their clubs and only then can we look at the second leg.”
Singapore host Palestine on October 28 in the return leg at the National Stadium.
In Muscat, Oman beat Nepal 2-0, courtesy goals from Fauzi Basheer (5) and Hassan Mudaffar (22 penalty), at the Sultan Qaboos Stadium for a handy lead into the second leg which takes place on October 28 in Kathmandu.
Syria thrashed Afghanistan 3-0 with late goals from Mohamed Zeno (73 and 83 penalty) Maher Al Sayed (80 penalty) at the Aleppo International Stadium.
Yemen demolished Maldives 3-0 at the Ali Muhsin Al-Muriasi Stadium in Sana.
UAE - Vietnam