Iraq is in the lead and Kuwait has great chances in the double qualifiers. Saudi Arabia and Oman qualify for the third round

Written By Mark

The Saudi and Omani teams guaranteed their qualification to the third round of the double Asian qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup and the 2027 Asian Cup in football, after emerging victorious from the fifth and penultimate round, while the Syrian team missed the opportunity with its fatal defeat to North Korea.
In the seventh group, Saudi Arabia returned from Islamabad with its fourth victory and its qualification card by defeating its host, Pakistan, by three clean goals, scored by Firas Al-Braikan (26 and 41) and Musab Fahad Al-Jawir (59).
Italian coach Roberto Mancini’s team raised its score to 13 points in the lead, 6 points behind Jordan and 8 ahead of third-placed Tajikistan, before the meeting between the latter two later in Amman.
The top two teams in each of the nine groups qualify for the third round of the World Cup qualifiers, and these teams receive tickets to participate in the 2027 Asian Cup.
With a hat-trick from Abdul Rahman Al-Mushaifri in the 31st, 55th and 75th minutes, the Omani team defeated Chinese Taipei 3-0 away from home, achieving its fourth victory, which allowed it to take the lead in Group 4 with 12 points and ensure its qualification to the third round, as it is two points ahead of Kyrgyzstan and five ahead of third-placed Malaysia. This came after a 1-1 draw between the latter two at the former’s home ground.

Syria misses the opportunity
In the second group, Syria missed the opportunity to secure its qualification, which would have been achieved by a draw, after losing to North Korea in Laos 0-1 with a fatal goal.
Syria entered the match with a draw sufficient for it to join Japan in the third round, and it seemed on its way to achieving its goal before conceding in the second minute of stoppage time with a goal scored by Il-Gwan Jung, giving his country hope of qualifying after it became only one point behind the “Qasioun Eagles.” .
The task now seems difficult for the team of Argentine coach Hector Cuper, as it concludes the qualifiers next Tuesday in Japan, the leader and guarantor of the first place, while North Korea plays Myanmar, the last one (one point).
Japan maintained its perfect record in the group by achieving its fifth victory at the expense of its host, Myanmar, with a clean score by Keito Nakamura (17, 90 + 3), Ritsu Doan (34,) and Koki Ogawa (75, 83), raising its score to 15 points in the lead, 8 points behind Syria and 9. About North Korea.

The Iraqi surpasses the Indonesian
The Iraqi team secured the top spot in Group Six by defeating its host, Indonesia, 2-0, raising its score to 15 full points, eight ahead of Indonesia, which narrowed the gap between it and third-place Vietnam to only a point before the final round, as a result of the latter’s victory over its host, the Philippines, 3-2.
Indonesia will play in the final round next Tuesday at home against the Philippines, while Vietnam will play away from home with Iraq.
Ayman Hussein (54th from a penalty kick) and Ali Jassim (88th) scored the goals for Iraq, which benefited from the numerical deficiency in its host’s ranks after the expulsion of its captain Jordi Amat (59th) and also missed a penalty kick through Ayman Hussein (74th).

Kuwait keeps its hopes up
Kuwait, which was crowned champion of Asia in 1980, will be required to win over its host, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, with Qatar having to beat or draw with India so that “Blue” can accompany “Al-Anabi” to the 2027 Asian Cup finals scheduled in Saudi Arabia and the third round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
At nine o’clock, Australia, the guarantor of its qualification, continued its victories, which reached five, at the expense of its host Bangladesh, with two goals scored by Aydin Hrustic (29) and Kosini Yenji (62).
The Australian team moved away from the lead by 8 points from its rival, the Palestinians, who will be guaranteed to join them in the third round in the event of a draw or later victory over third-placed Lebanon (two points).

Expected qualification for South Korea
Thanks to a brace from Tottenham’s English star Heung-Min Son and Paris Saint-Germain’s Frenchman Kang-In Lee, the South Korean team won its expected qualification with a sweeping victory over its Singaporean host 7-0 in the third group, with the second ticket being determined in the final round after China’s second draw. (8 points) with its host, Thailand, third (5 points) 1-1.
In the final round, Thailand will play at home with Singapore, while China will defeat South Korea.
Mehdi Taremi led Iran to its fourth victory in Group E, by scoring a hat-trick in the 4-2 win over Hong Kong away from home.
The two group cards were decided in favor of Iran and Uzbekistan, which remained at the same distance with “Team Milli” by defeating Turkmenistan 3-1, before the confrontation between the two teams to decide the lead in the final round.