China smashed six second-half goals past Laos on Saturday to secure a 7-2 win and put one foot in the third round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Laos gave the home team some nervy moments at Kunming's Tuodong Stadium when strikes from Soukaphone Vongchiengkham and Visay Phaphouvanin put the visitors two goals ahead with a half hour gone.
However substitute Yang Xu hit back in first-half injury time, which set off a flurry of goals in the second half as he added two more, substitute Chen Tao scored a double and midfielder Hao Junmin tallied two late strikes of his own.
China will now be confident of progressing after Thursday's second leg to the penultimate stage of Asian qualifying, when big guns Japan, Australia and South Korea enter the competition, along with Bahrain and North Korea.
Jordan also enjoyed a convincing outing as they hammered nine unanswered goals past Nepal, with Hasan Abdel Mahmoud notably netting four. It was also a good day for Gulf sides as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman all secured wins in their respective matches.
Qatar, who will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, got off to a flying start against Vietnam with Mohamed Kasoula putting them ahead in the sixth minute. Second-half goals from Meshal Mubarak and Yousef Ahmad Ali secured the 3-0 victory.
Saudi Arabia beat Hong Kong by the same scoreline with Nassir Al Shamrani scoring a brace while UAE and Kuwait also managed 3-0 wins as they beat India, who have yet to play in a FIFA World Cup finals, and Philippines respectively.
Oman, meanwhile, defeated Myanmar 2-0. Iraq, also on the better side of a 2-0 scoreline, continued on their way past Yemen, while Iran were in impressive form as they dispatched Maldives 4-0 with the former Bayern Munich and Schalke midfielder Ali Karimi among the goalscorers.
In a south-east Asian grudge match, hosts Singapore edged Malaysia 5-3 in an eight-goal thriller at the Jalan Besar Stadium. The visitors made the best possible start as Mohd Safee Bin Mohd Salee put them ahead in the opening minute. Singapore hit back, though, bagging four before half-time through Aleksander Duric, Qiu Li, Mustafic Fahrudin and Shi Jiayi.
However, Malaysia were not finished and two goals in two minutes from Abdul Hadi Hin Yahaya and Sali brought the score to 4-3. Duric tallied a second nine minutes from time, though, giving Singapore the win.
The second legs will be played on 28 July, ahead of a draw for the third-round group stage which takes place in Brazil on 30 July.