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
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.