Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia appear poised to advance to the second qualifying round for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ after convincing round one first-leg wins on Wednesday.
Vietnam, with a home advantage, thrashed minnows Macau 6-0 at the Thong Nhat stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, with top-scoring international striker Le Cong Vinh scoring a hat-trick.
Bangladesh will take a comfortable 3-0 lead into Sunday's second leg against Pakistan in Lahore, while Cambodia secured a 4-2 victory over neighbours Laos, with the away goals giving the visitors a glimmer of hope in the return leg.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan will need some away day heroics after going down 2-0 to Palestine, who are now within touching distance of a round two tie with Thailand. Malaysia earned a 2-1 victory over Taiwan, keeping this Sunday's second leg in the balance, while Mongolia secured a slender 1-0 advantage over Myanmar.
A single goal separates Nepal from East Timor after a 2-1 win at home, while the Philippines relied on a second-half equaliser to avoid the shock of an away loss to Sri Lanka. The Azkals will need to be more convincing in Sunday's second leg in Manila if their hopes of meeting Kuwait in the second qualifying round are to remain alive.
It is a long road to Brazil 2014 for Asia's minnow sides. Eight round one winners join 22 higher ranked teams - including China, 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.