The second stage of the Asian qualifiers for the World Cup 2026 saw Japan, Australia and South Korea secure victories, while India lost at home to Katra. In Group C, Son Heung-min scored twice and assisted the third as South Korea beat China 3-0 in Shenzhen. Meanwhile, in Group B, Japan defeated Syria 5:0 as guests and North Korea secured their first win with a hat-trick by Jong Il Gwan against Myanmar.
In Group E, Hong Kong drew 2-2 with Turkmenistan after coming back twice, while Uzbekistan and Iran played to a 2-2 draw in Tashkent. The Iranians led 2:0 with goals from Rezeyan and Taremi, but Urunov and Sergeev saved the hosts from defeat. In Group G, Tajikistan beat Pakistan 6-1, with Croatian coach Petar Šegrt leading the way. Branko Ivanković’s Oman was defeated 1:0 in Bishkek near Kyrgyzstan.
In Group F, Mohanad Ali scored in injury time to give Iraq a 1-0 win over hosts Vietnam. Earlier in this group, Bangladesh and Lebanon played to a 1-1 draw. Australia celebrated their visit to Palestine with Harry Suttar’s goal of 1:0 in the 18th minute of a high-quality match played on neutral ground in Kuwait.