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 The Australian National Team continued their positive trend as they headed into the 2022 World Cup Qatar by beating Oman 3-1, while registering a record 11 wins in a row in the Asian Zone qualifiers on Thursday.

Kenya-born Awer Mabil scored the opener in the ninth minute while Martin Boyle and Mitchel Duke added goals in the second half as the Socceroos lead Group B in the third and final round of Asian World Cup qualifiers.

Australia went through the previous qualifying round with eight wins. The success against Oman ensured they remained perfect with three wins from as many matches in the last round.

Australia Sets Victory Record, Wu Leads China to Beat Japan
Australia Sets Victory Record, Wu Leads China to Beat Japan

In the process they overtook Mexico, Spain and Germany who scored 10 consecutive wins during their respective qualifying campaigns for the 2006 2010 and 2018 World Cups.

Australia are level on points with Saudi Arabia, but retain their top spot on goal difference in a highly competitive group. . In Group B there is also Japan who are fighting for two automatic spots.

Substitute Firas al-Buraikan scored the only goal in the 71st minute as Saudi Arabia beat Japan 1-0.

It was Saudi Arabia’s third consecutive win. Meanwhile Japan, who lost to Oman 1-0 in the first match of the Asian Zone qualifier, suffered a second defeat.

Playing in front of an almost full capacity crowd of King Abdulla Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia dominated possession from the start and could have won more if luck had come their way.

It was Japan who had the first opportunity through Gaki Shibasaki. Unfortunately his shot from a distance of more than 30 yards was still pushed over by Saudi goalkeeper Mohamed al-Owais.

Abdullah Madu of Saudi Arabia replied with a header from a cross from Abdulrahman Ghareeb. This time the Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda, reflex saved the ball. Until the break, the score remained 0-0.

In the second half, after coming on for Saleh al-Shehri in the 64th minute, 21-year-old striker Firas al-Buraikan, using Shibakasi’s erroneous backpass, managed to hit the ball without Gonda preventing it.

Elsewhere, in Sharjah, Wu Lei scored twice, including an injury-time winner as China beat Vietnam 3-2 for their first win after two straight defeats.

The Espanyol striker maintained China’s hopes of qualifying with his goal in the fifth minute of added time after Vietnam came from two goals down.

In Group A, Tottenham star Son Heung-min scored the winner to give South Korea a 2-1 home win over Syria at Ansan Wa Stadium.

The hole striker saved Korea from a very disappointing draw. Despite winning, South Korea failed to top Group A, having only won twice and drawn once in three matches.

Hosts South Korea dominated the first half, but both teams had to go goalless after Syria goalkeeper Ibrahim Alma made a brilliant save.

The situation changed in the 48th minute, when Hwang In-beom shot with his left foot from outside the box, sending the ball into the opposite corner to open the scoring.

It seems the match will end with a 1-0 win for South Korea. But Syria’s Omar Khrbin scored the equalizer in the 84th minute to shock South Korea.

Finally, Premier League star Son managed to score the winning goal for South Korea over Syria at the end of the match.

Elsewhere, Iran beat UAE 1-0 to stay perfect with three wins and top Group A with nine points. Mehdi Taremi scored the only goal in the 70th minute at the Zabeel Stadium headquarters, Dubai, UAE.

Meanwhile in the other Group A match, Iraq versus Lebanon had to play a goalless draw at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. (AFP)

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