China and Indonesia Advance to Third Round of Asian Qualifying for 2026 World Cup: A Look at the Fate of Thailand, Japan, and North Korea

China somehow manages to qualify for final round of World Cup despite struggles

China and Indonesia have both advanced to the third and final round of Asian qualifying for the 2026 World Cup. Despite suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of South Korea, China secured their spot in the next phase due to their impressive performance throughout the tournament. Paris Saint-Germain’s Lee Kang-in scored the only goal of the match for South Korea, who were already guaranteed a place in the next qualifying phase as group winners.

On the other hand, Thailand’s hopes of progressing to the next round fell short as they needed to beat Singapore by three goals to overtake China in Group C. However, they could only manage a 3-1 victory, leaving them outside of the qualification spots. Indonesia celebrated their first-ever entry into the third qualifying round with a 2-0 win over the Philippines in Jakarta. They joined Iraq as the teams advancing from Group F.

Japan’s coach, Hajime Moriyasu, warned his team that the final qualifying round will be a significant step up in competition after Japan secured their spot with a 5-0 win over Syria. Japan finished the second qualifying stage with a perfect record of 24 goals scored and none conceded. They will be aiming to qualify for their eighth consecutive World Cup in 2026.

Meanwhile, Syria is left waiting to see if North Korea can secure at least a point against Myanmar to leapfrog Syria and progress to the next phase. In a group I dead rubber match, Australia thrashed Palestine 5-0 with Kusini Yengi scoring twice, both to secure their spot in

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