The second round of the second stage of the Asian qualifiers for WC 2026 saw several exciting matches. In Group C, South Korea’s Tottenham striker Son Heung-min played a crucial role in their 3-0 victory over China. Son scored twice and assisted a third goal, giving the Koreans a commanding lead in the match. In contrast, India lost at home to Katra (0-3) despite being coached by former Croatian coach Igor Štimac.
In Group B, Japan defeated Syria 5-0 as guests, with two goals from Real Sociedad striker Takegush Kubo. North Korea also secured their first win of the campaign by beating Myanmar 6-1 in Yangon, thanks to Jong Il Gwan’s hat-trick. Australia celebrated away to Palestine with a high-quality match that ended in a 1-0 Harry Souttar goal in the 18th minute. Bangladesh and Lebanon drew 1-1 earlier in this group.
In Group F, Iraq won over hosts Vietnam with a last-minute goal by Mohanad Ali, while the Philippines and Indonesia drew 1-1 in Manila. Hong Kong came back twice to draw 2-2 with Turkmenistan in group E, thanks to Urunov and Sergejev’s heroics. Uzbekistan and Iran played out an exciting match that ended in a 2-2 draw in Tashkent, with Iran leading early on but ultimately being held by Uzbekistan’s defense.
Finally, Tajikistan won convincingly over Pakistan (6-1) in Group G led by Croatian coach Petar Šegrt. Branko Ivanković’s Oman was defeated narrowly (1-0) near Kyrgyzstan despite some impressive play throughout the game.
Overall, this round of matches saw several upsets and surprises as favorites like Japan, South Korea and Australia emerged victorious while other teams struggled to keep up with them.
As always there were many exciting moments during these matches which kept fans engaged till the end of every game.
The next round will be crucial for those teams who want to secure their spot at World Cup tournament which is scheduled for year 2026.