Tuesday’s Matchday 2 proved a miserable night for Asia’s big boys with four of the five group seeds dropping points away. Japan, Korea Republic and Iran were all held to 1-1 draws by their respective opponents, while China PR were edged out 2-1 by Jordan. Australia were the only seeded side to remain perfect with a 3-1 win in Saudi Arabia. Join FIFA.com as we review a night full of thrillers, surprises and upsets.
The big game
Jordan 2-1 China
Baha Suleiman(49), Amer Deeb (54); Hao Junmin(56)
The meeting between Group A’s opening-day winners ended in the hosts' favour, with Jordan prevailing 2-1 over China to top the section. The visitors proved the dominant side throughout, but it was the Jordanians that took the lead against the run of play, Baha Suleiman opening the scoring with a ferocious long-distance shot. It took the home side only five minutes to double the lead, with Amer Deed slotting home from a fine cross.
The Chinese quickly pulled one back through Hao Junmin and continued to press forward, with both Yu Hai and Yu Dabao going close to drawing things level. However, their lack of accuracy and composure took a toll and their efforts were for naught. In the group’s other game, Zico's Iraq defeated hosts Singapore 2-0 to move level with China on three points.
Lebanon 3-1 United Arab Emirates
Mohamed Ghadar 37 (PEN), Akram Moghrabi 52, Roda Antar 83; Mohamoud Al Hammadi 15
On a night of surprises, Lebanon's 3-1 comeback victory over United Arab Emirates stood out, with the result even more impressive given that they had conceded six unanswered goals against Korea Republic in their opener. The win also came as sweet revenge against their rivals, at whose hands the hosts were humiliated 6-2 in a recent friendly.
The visitors took the lead on the quarter-hour mark through Mohamoud Al Hammadi, but Mohamed Ghadar drew the hosts level on 37 minutes by earning and converting a spot-kick. With so much at stake, Lebanon captain Roda Antar proved the difference, setting Akram Moghrabi up to make the score 2-1 on 52 minutes, before he sealed the 3-1 win with a header seven minutes from time. In Group B's other game, Kuwait held Korea Republic 1-1 at home, with Hussain Ali on target on 53 minutes to cancel out Park Chu-Young's early opener.
The other attractions
Group C lived up to its billing as one of the toughest sections on the continent, with seeded team Japan held to a 1-1 draw in Uzbekistan, while Korea DPR bounced back to defeat Tajikistan 1-0 at home. In today's earliest game, a first-half goal by defender Pak Nam-Chol was enough for the Korea DPR to see off Tajikistan. Having saved their blushes with Maya Yoshida's last-ditch strike in their first game, Japan once again had Lady Luck to thank, with Shinji Okazaki scoring on 65 minutes to cancel out Server Djeparov's eighth-minute opener.
In Group D, Australia maintained pole position in the section after crushing Saudi Arabia 3-1. Thailand, having gone so close to stunning the Socceroos in their opener, pulled off a resounding 3-0 home triumph over Oman to move into second place. Striking duo Sompong Soleb and Teerasil Dangda were on target to give the hosts a 2-0 first-half lead, before Rashid Al Farsi gifted them an own-goal in stoppage time.
Elsewhere, Sayed Shubbar and Ismaeel Latif struck in each half as Group E's Bahrain beat hosts Indonesia 2-0 for their first win. In the section's other match, Iran drew 1-1 in Qatar but remain group leaders by edging the Bahrainis on goal difference. Languishing at the bottom, pointless Indonesia must win against Qatar in their next outing on 11 October if they are to keep hope alive.
Player of the day
Having netted the crucial equaliser against Thailand in the opener, Joshua Kennedy went on to prove Australia's key man up front. The Nagoya Grampus striker fired a brace against the Saudis.
1 - Lebanon recorded their first win against UAE, while Jordan’s victory also marked their first against China.
What they said
“I started working with the team two weeks ago, so I started from scratch. Last week we suffered a big loss in Korea Republic but today we could have won with a bigger result. I'm not surprised with the level of UAE because I know them. We deserved this win,” Lebanon coach Theo Bucker.
Asia's third qualifying round, matchday two results
Group A: Singapore 0-2 Iraq, Jordan 2-1 China
Group B: Lebanon 3-1 United Arab Emirates, Kuwait 1-1 Korea Republic
Group C: Uzbekistan 1-1 Japan, Korea DPR 1-0 Tajikistan
Group D: Thailand 3-0 Oman, Saudi Arabia 1-3 Australia
Group E: Indonesia 0-2 Bahrain, Qatar 1-1 Iran