Asia's 2014 World Cup Qualifiers: Roundup
Thursday was the end of the Second Round of Asia’s 2014 World Cup Qualifiers, which saw thirty nations battling to keep their 2014 World Cup aspirations alive. But only 20 nations including the top five could keep their Brazil aspirations alive while the rest were left to nurse their dreams of making it to Russia in 2018.
In the second leg of the Second Round World Cup Qualifier on Thursday, almost all the favorites make it through to the third round with no major upsets. China, Thailand, Lebanon, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Qatar, Iran, Singapore, Uzbekistan, UAE, Jordan and Oman joined Japan, Australia, Bahrain, South and North Korea in the third round of the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers.
These twenty teams of the third round will be divided into five groups of four teams each. They will play in a round-robin format at home and away and the top two teams from each group will make it to the fourth round. The draws for the third round will take place on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.
The fourth round will see ten teams divided into two groups of five playing in a round robin format at home and away. The group winners and runners-up can book their tickets to Brazil while the two third placed teams will still have to play two more rounds to confirm their ticket.
In the fifth round, the two third-placed teams will face off against each other before the winner takes on a side from another confederation in the inter-confederation face-off.
Japan, Australia and South Korea are the favorites to make it to the finals in Brazil while the rest of the 17 countries will have to fight a tough battle to realize their dreams. However no country can guarantee themselves a spot as the level of football in Asia has grown and the difference in expertise and talent between nations has minimized in a short span of time.
Japan’s international Goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima echoes the same feeling saying “There are so many different playing styles in Asia that it’s really not easy to qualify, even if we have managed to qualify with greater ease in recent years.”
Overall Second Leg and Aggregate Results
Laos vs China PR (1-6): China wins 13-3 on aggregate
Palestine vs Thailand (2-2): Thailand wins 3-2 on aggregate
Bangladesh vs Lebanon (2-0): Lebanon wins 4-2 on aggregate
Indonesia vs Turkmenistan (4-3): Indonesia wins 5-4 on aggregate
Philippines vs Kuwait (1-2): Kuwait wins 5-1 on aggregate
Hong Kong vs Saudia Arabia (0-5): Saudi Arabia wins 8-0 on aggregate
Maldives vs Iran (0-1): Iran wins 5-0 on aggregate
Tajikistan vs Syria (0-4): Syria wins 6-1 on aggregate
Vietnam vs Qatar (2-1): Qatar wins 2-2 on aggregate
Yemen vs Iraq (0-0): Iran wins 2-0 on aggregate
Malaysia vs Singapore (1-1): Singapore wins 6-4 on aggregate
Kyrgyzatan vs Uzbekistan (0-3): Uzbekistan wins 7-0 on aggregate
India vs UAE (2-2): UAE wins 5-2 on aggregate
Nepal vs Jordan (1-1): Jordan wins 10-1 on aggregate
Myanmar vs Oman (Match Abandoned): Oman