Striker Mohammed Al-Sahlawi goal four minutes into stoppage time gave Saudi Arabia a 3-2 win over Palestine as the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup began on Thursday.
At Dammam, Saudi Arabia, 70th-minute substitute Matias Jadue leveled the Group A match just three minutes earlier, also in added time. Al-Sahlawi scored the first goal of the match a minute into the second half.
The match was originally scheduled to be played in Palestine, but Saudi Arabia cited “exceptional conditions” for its inability to travel to the West Bank. The Saudi team would have needed to travel through checkpoints operated by Israel, a country with which it holds no diplomatic ties.
East Timor drew with Malaysia 1-1 in the other Group A match in Kuala Lumpur. Mohammed Sali provided the host’s lead in the 34th, and Ramon Saro tied it in injury time.
An own-goal by Serdar Annaorazov gave Guam a 1-0 Group D victory over Turkmenistan. Guam, a United States territory with less than 200,000 people, was hosting its first World Cup qualifier. The Pacific island’s last World Cup campaign was in 2000, when it was routed 16-0 by Tajikistan and 19-0 by Iran.
In the other Group D match, Amad Al-Hosni’s 40th-minute penalty proved decisive in Oman’s 2-1 win over India at Bangalore. Qasim Said scored in the first minute for visiting Oman, and Sunil Chhetri made it 1-1 in the 26th.
In Group B, Anton Zemlianukhina scored two first-half goals to lead Kyrgyzstan to a 3-1 win over Bangladesh in Dhaka, and Jordan had a 3-1 away win over Tajikistan.
Sufuwan Baharudin scored twice as Singapore defeated host Cambodia 4-0 in Group E. Amri opened the scoring just nine minutes in at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, and Baharudin made it 3-0 with two goals before the break. Fazrul Shahul completed the scoring 10 minutes into the second half.
In the late Group E match, Syria routed Afghanistan 6-0 at Mashad, Iran, due to security concerns in Afghanistan.
Myanmar’s Kyaw Zayar Win equalized five minutes from fulltime to force a 2-2 draw against host Laos in Group G. Zaw Min Tun’s strike just before halftime kept Myanmar ahead until Laos struck twice in three minutes through Khampheng Sayavutthi with less than 10 minutes to go, before the late equalizer.
In Group H, the Philippines beat Bahrain 2-1. Substitute Misagh Bahadoran opened the scoring five minutes into the new half, and Javier Patino doubled the lead 10 minutes later. Bahrain scored a consolation goal in injury time through Abdulwahab Al Malood.
In the other group match, So Hyon Uk’s goal in the 71st minute earned North Korea a 1-0 win over Yemen in Doha, Qatar.
In Group C, Hong Kong routed Bhutan 7-0 at Mongkok Stadium with Jaimes McKee scoring twice on either side of halftime while Qatar had a 1-0 away win over the Maldives.
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