China barely qualifies for the final phase of World Cup qualifying after a tough battle

China Secures World Cup Spot Despite Loss to South Korea: A Look at Asian Qualifying

China managed to secure a spot in the final round of Asian qualifying for the 2026 World Cup despite suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of South Korea. Paris Saint-Germain’s Lee Kang-in scored the only goal just after the hour mark in Seoul. However, China’s hopes were hanging by a thread until Thailand failed to secure the necessary victory over Singapore to overtake them.

Thailand’s dreams of progressing ended as they could only manage a 3-1 win over Singapore in Bangkok, falling short of the required three-goal margin to move ahead of China in the group standings. On the contrary, Indonesia celebrated reaching the third qualifying round for the first time with a 2-0 victory over the Philippines in Jakarta.

Japan’s coach, Hajime Moriyasu, warned his team that the final qualifying round will be a whole new level after they thrashed Syria 5-0 to advance with a perfect record from the second qualifying stage. Japan completed the stage without conceding a single goal in six games, scoring 24 goals in total.

Meanwhile, Australia also secured their spot in the next phase as they defeated Palestine 5-0 in a dead rubber match in Perth. Both teams had already qualified for the next round, with Australia also finishing with maximum points and a clean sheet throughout

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