Singapore, Syria, Thailand and Turkmenistan completed two-legged victories over Tajikistan, Indonesia, Yemen and Hong Kong respectively to finalise the 20-team line-up for the Asian Zone's third round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ on Sunday. They will now join 16 continental rivals in the tournament's forthcoming Preliminary Draw in Durban.
Having returned from Sana'a with a 1-1 draw, Chanvit Phalajivin's Thailand side did enough to see off Yemen on home soil, Sarayoot Chaikamdee netting the only goal in the 15th minute.
Singapore, meantime, sealed their progression from the second round on away ground. Noh Alam Shah was their hero, rising to the occasion to cancel out Jamshed Ismailov's first-minute header for Tajikistan. The 1-1 stalemate sent the Lions through 3-1 on aggregate.
With Thailand and Singapore sailing through, fellow South East Asian team Indonesia disappointed against a rampant Syria, eventually going down 7-0. The Indonesians may have impressed in the recent AFC Asian Cup but a lack of competitive games in run-up to the South Africa 2010 qualifying campaign proved to their detriment, with their latest loss following a 4-1 first leg defeat.
Syria, playing in front of their vibrant supporters, ran out comfortable winners courtesy of a Ziad Chabo hat-trick, a Raja Rafe double, and further goals from Ali Dyab and Jehad Al Hussein.
Elsewhere, following a goalless draw after the first 90 minutes of their tie, Turkmenistan benefited from home advantage to beat Hong Kong 3-0. The visitors defended well for the majority of the first half, but Turkmenistan broke the deadlock through Mekan Nasyrov three minutes before the break, and Vladimir Bayramov and substitute Arif Mirzoev sealed a comfortable win.
Asian Zone qualifying, second round, second leg results:
18 November 2007
Syria 7-0 Indonesia
Tajikistan 1-1 Singapore
Thailand 1-0 Yemen
Turkmenistan 3-0 Hong Kong