Goals galore in Asian World Cup qualifiers

Philippine players celebrate after winning their 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifying match against Sri Lanka at the Rizal stadium in Manila on Sunday. (REUTERS)

There was a goal glut in Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup on Sunday with Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Myanmar among those who advanced into the second round.

Malaysia scraped through despite going down 3-2 to Taiwan in Taipei, with the ASEAN champions squeezing through courtesy of away goals following last week’s 2-1 triumph in Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysians take on southeast Asian rivals Singapore in the next round.

Vietnam star Le Cong Vinh took his haul of goals in qualifying to eight in two games after the three-time Vietnamese footballer of the year followed up his first-leg hat-trick with five goals in the 7-1 hammering away at Macau.

Vietnam face a considerably more daunting tie against Asian Cup hosts Qatar next.

Laos will play China next after overcoming a two-goal first-leg deficit to progress at the expense of Cambodia after scoring twice in extra-time for a remarkable 8-6 aggregate win over their neighbours.

Philippines meanwhile set up a second round meeting with 10-time Gulf Cup of Nations champions Kuwait after defeating Sri Lanka 4-0 in Manila to sail through with a comprehensive 5-1 aggregate win.

In the first major international sporting event to be held in Pakistan since eight people were killed in a gun attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore two years ago, the hosts were held to a 0-0 draw by Bangladesh in the same city, losing 3-0 on aggregate.

Bangladesh - who were forced to play in Pakistan after their request to relocate the match was turned down by Fifa - face Lebanon in the second round.

In Yangon, Myanmar overcame a first-leg deficit to defeat a resilient Mongolia 2-1 on aggregate. They play Oman in the next stage.

Palestine held Afghanistan to a 1-1 draw at home, going through 3-1 on aggregate courtesy of a 2-0 away win in the first leg, and have Thailand as their next opponents.

Nepal became the first side to book their place in the second round after an emphatic 5-0 win in Kathmandu on Saturday gave them a 7-1 aggregate victory over Timor Leste.

It is a long road to Brazil 2014 for Asia’s lesser sides.

Eight round one winners join 22 higher ranked teams - including Thailand and Iran - for home-and-away matches in the second round of the Asian qualifiers, to be played 23-28 July.

The 15 victors from those ties will join Asian giants Japan, South Korea and Australia as well as North Korea and Bahrain in the third round.

Asian World Cup 2014 round one qualifying results

Taiwan 3 Malaysia 2
Aggregate 4-4, Malaysia win on away goals

Philippines 4 Sri Lanka 0
Philippines win 5-1 on aggregate

Macau 1 Vietnam 7
Vietnam win 13-1 on aggregate

Myanmar 2 Mongolia 0
Myanmar win 2-1 on aggregate

Laos 6 Cambodia 2
Laos win 8-6 on aggregate

Palestine 1 Afghanistan 1
Palestine win 3-1 on aggregate

Pakistan 0 Bangladesh 0
Bangladesh win 3-0 on aggregate

On Saturday:
Timor Leste 0 Nepal 5
Nepal win 7-1 on aggregate

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