Syria routs Cambodia 6-0 in World Cup qualifying
TOKYO (AP) — War-torn Syria’s national soccer team won its third consecutive World Cup qualifying match on Tuesday, routing Cambodia 6-0 in Phnom Penh, while the game between Malaysia and visiting Saudi Arabia was suspended three minutes from the end after fans hurled flares onto the field.
Syria striker Omar Khribin scored two of the four first-half goals to help his team take the lead in Group E with nine points. Syria has so far scored 13 goals without conceding.
Japan, which previously defeated Cambodia 3-0 and drew against Singapore in the same group, recorded a 6-0 win over Afghanistan.
In Selangor, angry Malaysian fans threw flares and fireworks onto the field in the 87th minute at Shah Alam Stadium with Saudi Arabia leading 2-1. The Group A match was suspended as the players left the field and the Asian Football Confederation said it would rule “soon” on an outcome for the game.
In another Group A match, Palestine held the United Arab Emirates to a 0-0 draw in a match watched by 10,000 fans on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
Palestinians from the West Bank and Israel provided plenty of boisterous support for their team. The playing conditions were tough, though, following a sandstorm that blanketed the area and raised pollution levels.
The Palestinians, whose team includes two Arab citizens of Israel, have hosted only a handful of high-profile international matches.
In Group C, Yu Dabao scored two goals as China beat the Maldives 3-0 and Qatar beat Hong Kong 3-2.
Australia forward Tim Cahill scored his 41st and 42nd international goals as the Asian Cup champions defeated Tajikistan 3-0 after a scoreless first half. Australia has nine points from three matches, two points more than Jordan in Group B.
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said his side’s unfamiliarity with the artificial pitch at Dushanbe led to poor crosses and mis-hit balls.
“We were floating stuff in, instead of hitting them with purpose and pace, but we have persevered and I think our last two goals in particular were really good team goals,” he said.
In other matches, Jordan beat Bangladesh 4-0 to improve to seven points from three games in Group B, and Vietnam scored in stoppage time for a 2-1 victory over Taiwan, its first win in Group F.
Also in Group F, Thailand came back from a two-goal deficit in the last 10 minutes to draw 2-2 against Iraq. Thailand leads the group with seven points, one ahead of Vietnam.
Guam maintained its unbeaten record at home by holding Oman to a 0-0 draw to stay in contention in Group D with seven points. Guam opened with wins at home against Turkmenistan and India but was beaten by Iran last week in its first away game.
Iran recorded a 3-0 win over India in Bangalore. Iran has seven points from three matches, ahead of Oman on goal difference.
South Korea moved to the top of Group G, scoring goals four minutes apart in the first half on the way to a 3-0 win over Lebanon at Beirut. Kuwait also recorded its third win in a row in the group by defeating Laos 2-0 at Vientiane.
South Korea has scored 13 goals and second-place Kuwait 12, with neither team conceding a goal.
Bahrain beat Yemen 4-0 for its first win in Group H in a match played at Doha, Qatar due to security concerns in Yemen. Uzbekistan beat the Philippines 5-1 to pull level on points in the group with the losers, three points behind first-place North Korea, which has three wins from three matches and did not play Tuesday.