Japan’s World Cup hopes take hit with loss against Saudi Arabia in qualifier

Japan misplaced 1-0 to Saudi Arabia in an Asian qualifier for the 2022 FIFA Males’s World Cup on Thursday, its second defeat in three video games and a loss that put a dent in its hopes of direct qualification.

The Saudis earned their third consecutive win within the third spherical of Asian qualifying for the Qatar World Cup, whereas Japan added a second Group B loss to associate with a 1-0 defeat in opposition to Oman earlier within the competitors.

A aim from substitute Firas Al Birakan within the 71st minute gave the hosts the victory at King Abdulla Sports activities Metropolis Stadium in Jeddah, leaving Japan with three factors from three video games whereas Saudi Arabia joined Australia atop the group with a most 9 factors.

“We obtained drained and misplaced our rhythm, that’s after they capitalized and scored,” Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu mentioned.

He remained defiant, although, insisting the group’s hopes of reaching a seventh straight World Cup are nonetheless alive.

“If we don’t hand over, I consider we will nonetheless win a ticket to the World Cup,” the 53-year-old mentioned.

The third spherical has two teams of six groups, with every squad going through the others of their group twice. The winner and runner-up in every group qualifies for subsequent yr’s event within the Center East instantly, and the 2 third-placed groups will face one another at residence and away in one other spherical for a spot within the event.

Japan, which is ranked twenty sixth, Oman and China every have three factors in Group B. Vietnam stays winless and sits on the backside of the group with no factors.

Samurai Blue suffered a shock upset at residence in opposition to Oman of their opening Group B match early final month earlier than beating China 1-0 in Qatar.

The Saudis, managed by Frenchman Herve Renard, gained 3-1 over Vietnam in Riyadh and 1-0 away to Oman of their earlier group video games.

Moriyasu’s Japan squad should regroup rapidly earlier than its subsequent qualifier in opposition to Australia at Saitama Stadium on Tuesday.

Australia defeated Oman 3-1 in Doha to safe an eleventh straight win in qualifying for Qatar 2022, breaking the file for consecutive victories in the identical marketing campaign which it had shared with Germany, Spain and Mexico.

The Socceroos took the lead by means of Awer Mabil’s ninth-minute aim. That, nevertheless, was canceled out by Rabia Al Mandhar, earlier than second-half objectives from Martin Boyle and Mitchell Duke helped the Australians preserve their good qualifying file.

In Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Wu Lei struck twice, together with an harm time winner, as China beat Vietnam 3-2 for its first win after two straight losses.

The Espanyol striker stored China’s hopes of qualifying alive along with his aim within the fifth minute of added time after Vietnam rallied from a two-goal deficit.

In Group A on Thursday, Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min scored an 89th-minute winner to provide South Korea a nervy 2-1 residence win over Syria in Ansan, South Korea.

The star ahead saved the Koreans from what would have been a deeply disappointing draw. South Korea is second within the group with two wins and a attract three matches.

The house group dominated the primary half however the two sides went to the break goalless after Syria goalkeeper Ibrahim Alma made a number of good stops.

The tide shifted in favor of the house group within the forty eighth minute, when Hwang In-beom struck the ball along with his left foot from exterior the field and despatched it into the alternative nook to open the scoring.

It regarded as if the match would finish in a 1-0 win for Son and his aspect, however Syria’s Omar Khrbin shocked the South Koreans with an equalizer within the 84th minute.

Son then stepped ahead when his aspect wanted him most, placing the winner from shut vary.

Elsewhere, Iran edged the UAE 1-0 to stay good with three wins in as many matches as Mehdi Taremi scored the all-important aim within the seventieth minute in Dubai, because the Iranians remained on prime of Group A with 9 factors.

Iraq and Lebanon performed out a goalless draw on the Khalifa Worldwide Stadium in Doha.

The end result meant each groups are with out a win of their three matches to date.

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