Thu, Nov 16, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan falls to Syria to end goalless Cup charge


Japan's Yasuyuki Konno, left, and Akira Kaji, right, try to steal a ball from Saudi Arabia's Saleh Alsaqri during their qualifying match for the 2007 Asian Cup in Sapporo, Japan, yesterday. Japan won 3-1.


In the final round of qualifiers for the 2007 Asian Cup, Syria defeated Taiwan 3-0 in Damascus, leaving the Taiwanese without a goal in six matches.

Uzbekistan clinched one of two remaining places in the finals yesterday with a 2-0 victory over Qatar, leaving Kuwait and Bahrain, who were to play later last night, to fight it out for the final slot.

Despite the loss, Qatar ended top of Group F.

It ended any hope Hong Kong had of making the finals. They played out a meaningless 2-0 win against Bangladesh.

Defending champions Japan enjoyed a 3-1 victory over Saudi Arabia in Sapporo, ensuring it ended top of Group A.

Despite having qualified for the finals, the pressure was on China to finish what has been an indifferent campaign on a positive note and secure a win to appease the country's demanding fans and media.

But Zhu Guanghu's men again failed to deliver, eking out a 1-1 draw at home to Iraq, with Ahmed Salah canceling out Han Peng's first half goal.

South Korea traveled to Iran without their Iranian-American assistant coach Afshin Ghotbi, who was refused a visa.

Iran won 2-0. Both teams have already qualified for finals.

In other games, Jordan were taking on Oman and United Arab Emirates were to face Pakistan.

Singapore were unable to play their match against Palestine when the visitors failed to turn up due to the deteriorating situation in Gaza. The Palestinians face a possible sanction.

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