Lebanon beats Thailand, China keeps pace in Asia

Lebanon trounced Thailand 5-2 in a 2015 Asian Cup qualifier on

Friday to give the country’s football fans a much-needed morale

boost after their sport was hit by a match-fixing scandal.

Lebanon was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons after two

of its players – Ramez Dayoub and Mahmoud El Ali – were banned for

life last month for match-fixing.

Hassan Chaito scored twice and Mohammad Al Haidar added another

as Lebanon took a 3-0 lead at the break in Friday’s Group B game in

Beirut. Hassan Matouk and Abbas Ali Atwi scored the others while

Teerasil Dangda and Thithiphan Puangjan replied for the Thais.

Meanwhile, striker Yu Dabao came off the bench to score three

minutes into in injury time for China to beat Iraq 1-0 at Changsha

Helong Sports Centre.

The victory left China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia level on three

points at the top of Group C.

In Group D, Faozi Mubark Ayish’s 20th minute strike earned

Bahrain a 1-0 victory over Qatar, while Malaysia revived its

qualifying hopes by coming from behind to beat Yemen 2-1 win over

Yemen at the Shah Alam Stadium in the other group game.

Malaysia substitute Khyril Muhymeen headed a late winner after

the visitors had taken an early lead through a fine solo effort by

Aiman Al Hagri, only for Azammuddin Akil to tap in an equalizer

just before the interval.

In Group E, two goals in as many second-half minutes saw the

United Arab Emirates come from a goal down to register a 2-1 win

over Uzbekistan at Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium. Shohruh Gadoev gave

Mirdjalal Kasimov’s side the lead after 16 minutes but goals from

Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout secured the hosts a second straight

win after kicking off their campaign with a victory over

Vietnam.

Hong Kong, meanwhile, maintained its surprising run, beating

Vietnam 1-0 to remain undefeated in the competition in the other

group match. Skipper Chan Wai Ho headed the all-important goal just

three minutes before the final whistle.