The return legs of Asia's second qualifying round yielded no major surprises, with all 14 winners from the first legs going on to secure their places alongside Japan, Australia, Korea Republic, Korea DPR and Bahrain in the final 20. Indonesia also advanced, edging Turkmenistan by the odd goal in seven to progress 5-4 on aggregate.

West Asians succeeded in underlining their first-leg dominance, with nine of the region’s representatives progressing to the next stage. There will also be one more ASEAN nation competing in the third round than last time, this after Thailand and Singapore joined Indonesia in making it through.

China PR produced the most resounding win, with a 6-1 away victory at Laos clinching a 13-3 aggregate success. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, cruised to an 8-0 aggregate win over Hong Kong, while Uzbekistan put seven unanswered goals past Kyrgyzstan. Join as we review some of the enthralling action in the all-important return legs.

The game

Indonesia 4-3 Turkmenistan
A seven-goal thriller settled this tight tie in Indonesia's favour, with the hosts beating Turkmenistan 4-3 to prevail 5-4 on aggregate. Veteran striker Cristian Gonzales emerged as the Indonesian hero, netting a brace inside 18 minutes to put the home side in driving seat, before Mohammad Nasuha made it 3-0 three minutes from the break.

The Persija Jakarta defender went from hero to villain midway through the second half when he put through his own net, but Muhammad Ridwan restored Indonesia’s three-goal cushion on 76 minutes. The visitors threw everything forward in the closing stages, and two late goals from Berdy Shamuradov and Gahrymanberdy Chonkaev provided them with a lifeline. However, the Indonesians kept their cool in the dying seconds to ensure there was to be no last-gasp drama.

The surprise
Malaysia 1-1 Singapore
In what always promised to be a fiercely-contested encounter, a draw appeared a fitting outcome to this duel between two rival neighbours. However, the result brought to an end the Malayan Tigers’ FIFA World Cup dreams, Singapore’s Lions going through 6-4 on aggregate.

Needing to win by at least a two-goal margin, the hosts broke the deadlock on hour-mark, with Mohd Sali’s goal sending the 85,000 home crowd into raptures. However, while the home side went on to press for all-important second goal, their hopes were ultimately shattered with 17 minutes remaining when Shi Jiayi equalised to secure the visitors’ place in the next round.

The other matches
Vietnam bounced back from their 3-0 first leg defeat to Qatar with a 2-1 win in which Trong Hoang Nguyen and Quang Hai Nguyen scored the hosts’ goals. The Qataris still emerged as 4-2 aggregate victors, but the Vietnamese can depart with their heads high after this win over a side ranked 54 places above them.

Elsewhere, Bangladesh came close to stunning Lebanon, with second-half goals from Mithun Chowdhury and Zahid Hasan Emily securing a 2-0 home win. Overcoming the four-goal deficit from the first leg ultimately proved beyond them, but the South Asians at least showed signs of progress.

India, too, put in a resolute display in front of their own fans as they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with United Arab Emirates, who went through 5-2 on aggregate. An even more significant improvement was seen in Nepal, where the hosts put a thumping 9-0 first leg defeat behind them to hold Jordan to a 1-1 draw.

Murad Elyyan was Palestine’s star man with two goals in a valiant 2-2 draw with Thailand, although it is the Southeast Asians who advance thanks to their 1-0 first-leg victory. Yemen also impressed in a goalless draw against Iraq, while the Maldives restricted Iran to a solitary-goal victory.

In Laos, veteran midfielder Qu Bo struck China’s opening goal and set up another, while Yu Hanchao and Deng Zhuoxiang each grabbed a brace as China cruised through. The victory ensured a further boost ahead of Asia's third qualifying round for the Chinese, who this week learned that they will be among Asia's five seeds for the Brazil 2014 Preliminary Draw based on the latest edition of FIFA/Coca Cola World Ranking.

Saudi Arabia claimed a resounding 5-0 win in Hong Kong. After Hassan Falltah had opened the scoring after the half-hour mark, three goals from Mohammed Noor, Nassir Al Shamrani and Mohammed Al Sahlawi in the space of seven second-half minutes put the game beyond any doubt, before Osama Hawsawi struck the final blow in stoppage time.

Syria, meanwhile, showed hosts Tajikistan no mercy with a 4-0 away win, prevailing 6-1 on aggregate, while a 3-0 victory at Kyrgyzstan enabled Uzbekistan to secure a seven-goal aggregate winning margin.

The player
A member of Bora Milutinovic’s 2002 FIFA World Cup squad, Qu Bo showed all his experience and leadership qualities as China ran riot against Laos. Having played a starring role in this emphatic win, the 30-year-old now has his sights set on a second appearance at the game’s greatest tournament.

What they said

“This victory was the testament to the fast progress our team has made over the past two years. We have gained good experience through a series of friendlies and a foundation has been laid for our future development,” China coach Gao Hongbo.

Asia's second qualifying round, second leg results
28 July
Palestine 2-2 Thailand
Bangladesh 2-0 Lebanon
Laos 1-6 China PR
Indonesia 4-3 Turkmenistan
Philippines 1-2 Kuwait
Myanmar (Match Abandoned) Oman
Hong Kong 0-5 Saudi Arabia
Maldives 0-1 Iran
Tajikistan 0-4 Syria
Vietnam 2-1 Qatar
Yemen 0-0 Iraq
Malaysia 1-1 Singapore
Kyrgyzstan 0-3 Uzbekistan
India 2-2 United Arab Emirates
Nepal 1-1 Jordan

Statement regarding the abandoned 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Myanmar and Oman
The second leg match between Myanmar and Oman in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on 28 July 2011 was brought to a sudden halt by the referee in the 45+2 minute after local supporters repeatedly hurled objects on to the field. The score at the time of interruption stood at 2-0 for Oman, who had also won the first leg 2-0.