The second round of the second stage of the Asian qualifiers for WC 2026 featured several notable victories, with Japan, Australia, and South Korea emerging as favorites. In Group C, Son Heung-min scored twice and assisted a third as South Korea beat China 3-0 in Shenzhen. Meanwhile, in Group B in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Japan defeated Syria 5-0 as guests.
In Group F, Iraq won a close match against hosts Vietnam with a goal scored in stoppage time by Mohanad Ali. Uzbekistan and Iran drew 2-2 in this group in Tashkent. The Iranians led 2-0 with goals from Rezeian and Taremi, but Urunov and Sergejev saved the hosts from defeat.
In Group G, Tajikistan won 6-1 over Pakistan in Islamabad, while Oman was defeated by Branko Ivanković’s Croatia in Bishkek near Kyrgyzstan with a score of 1-0.
Australia celebrated an away win over Palestine with a Harry Souttar goal in the 18th minute of a very high-quality match played on neutral ground in Kuwait. Earlier in this group, Bangladesh and Lebanon played to a draw of 1-1.