Singapore, Syria, Thailand and Turkmenistan have qualified for the third round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign on Sunday.
They join 11 Asian teams who have already qualified for the third round along with the top seeds from the region - Australia, Japan, South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia - who received byes.
Singapore held hosts Tajikistan in Dushanbe 1-1 to move into the next round with a 3-1 aggregate victory while Thailand, who were held 1-1 in the first leg in Sana’a last week, defeated Yemen 1-0 at home to complete a 2-1 aggregate win.
Syria, who thrashed Indonesia away 4-1 in the first leg, continued their brilliant performance at home winning the second leg 7-0 in Damascus. Striker Ziad Chabo scored a hat-trick for the West Asians’ 11-1 aggregate win scoring in 38, 43 and 86th minutes. Raja Rafe scored a brace in the 59 and 90th minutes. Ali Dyab (74) and Jehad Al Hussein (79) contributed a goal apiece in this big victory for Syria.
Jamshed Ismailov gave a perfect start to Tajikistan with a first minute header but Noh Alam Shah levelled the scores with a scorcher from 30 metres in the 27th minute.
Sarayoot Chaikamdee scored the match-winner for Thailand in the 15th minute.
Turkmenistan thrashed Hong Kong 3-0 at home after playing a goalless draw in the first leg. Mekan Nasyrov opened the scoring for Turkmenistan in the 42nd minute and Vladimir Bayramov made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute. Substitute Arif Mirzoev sealed the fate of Hong Kong in the 81st minute.
The draw for the third round takes place in Durban, South Africa, on November 25, 2007. At the draw, the countries will be split into five groups of four teams with the winners and runners up advancing to the fourth round of qualifying.
It will culminate with four teams from Asia playing at the World Cup in 2010, with the region’s fifth placed team playing off against the top team from Oceania.
The other Asian teams through include Bahrain, China, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, UAE, and Uzbekistan.