China stormed into the third round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers today after they put six past Laos to claim a 13-3 aggregate victory. Laos went into the match in Vientiane trailing 7-2 after the first leg and there was no let-up from the visitors as Qu Bo opened the scoring after 24 minutes before Yu Hanchao put China two up at half-time.
Visay Phaphouvanin gave the home side a glimmer of hope with a strike soon after the restart, but the Laotians faded as the half wore on and goals from Yu, Deng Zhuoxiang and first-leg hat-trick star Yang Xu sealed their fate. The 6-1 win on the night takes China through to the penultimate stage of Asian qualifying, when big guns Japan, Australia and South Korea enter the competition, along with Bahrain and North Korea.
There was disappointment in southern China as Hong Kong crashed out after a 5-0 thumping at home by Saudi Arabia to add to the 3-0 reverse they suffered in the first leg. The good night for Middle Eastern sides continued elsewhere, with Kuwait, Syria and Jordan all progressing easily at the expense of the Philippines, Tajikistan and Nepal respectively.
After suffering a 9-0 hiding in the first leg, Nepal retrieved a modicum of pride, holding Jordan to a 1-1 draw in Kathmandu thanks to an 80th-minute equaliser from Bharat Khawas. Kuwait came from a goal down to beat the Philippines 2-1 in Manila, while two goals in each half saw Syria through 6-1 over two legs.
Two second half goals from Vietnam saw them come from one down to beat 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar 2-1 in Hanoi, but the Gulf side's three-goal cushion from the first leg was enough to keep them on the road to Brazil. A goal in each half took Bangladesh to a 2-0 win at home against Lebanon, but the visitors went through thanks to their 4-0 first leg victory.
In Jakarta, Indonesia survived a late surge from Tajikistan to hold on for a 4-3 win - 5-4 on aggregate - thanks to a Cristian Gonzales brace and goals from Mohammad Nasuha and Muhammad Ridwan. Second-half substitute Bahodir Nasimov bagged a pair as Uzbekistan, Asian Cup semi-finalists earlier this year, beat Kyrgyzstan 3-0 in Tashkent to record a 7-0 aggregate victory.
Gouramangi Singh equalised deep into injury time as India came from two down to rescue a draw at home to the United Arab Emirates, but again the Gulf side's first leg advantage saw them through. All the winners will progress into the third round draw to be made as part of Brazil 2014's Preliminary Draw in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.