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China's World Cup Hope Survives Despite 1-0 Loss to South Korea; Thailand and India Miss Out

China's World Cup Hope Survives Despite 1-0 Loss to South Korea; Thailand and India Miss Outillustration

In the latest Asian qualifying matches for the 2026 , managed to secure advancement to the next round despite a narrow 1-0 defeat to South Korea.

China's advancement hinged on the outcome of the match between Thailand and Singapore. Thailand, needing a three- margin of victory, only managed a 3-1 win, allowing China to clinch progression.

South Korea, with their victory over China, concluded the second round of continental qualifying atop Group C, positioning themselves for an eleventh consecutive World Cup appearance.

Of the 18 Asian teams in the next stage, six will secure automatic spots in the World Cup. Additionally, two more teams will earn direct entry from a fourth stage in Asian qualifying, while another will vie for a spot through intercontinental playoffs.

In Seoul's World Cup Stadium, Lee Kang-in's 61st-minute strike secured South Korea's victory against China, assisted by a cross from Son Heung-min.

Reflecting on the match, Son remarked, "We were able to keep China from creating any dangerous chances... Overall, everyone did a great job."

China, aiming for their second-ever World Cup appearance since 2002, needed at least a draw to secure second place in the group.

At Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium, Thailand faced disappointment despite a 3-1 victory over Singapore. Suphanat Mueanta expressed regret over the missed opportunity, apologizing to fans for not advancing further.

India's hopes were dashed as they fell 2-1 to Group A leader Qatar, with Kuwait seizing second spot with a late goal against Afghanistan.

Australia dominated in their match against Palestine, securing a 5-0 win in Perth, maintaining a perfect record with six wins out of six matches.

Indonesia progressed with a 2-0 win over the Philippines in Group F, while North Korea secured second place in Group B with a 4-1 win over Myanmar, capitalizing on Syria's 5-0 loss to Japan.

Oman and Kyrgyzstan progressed from Group D, while Iran, Uzbekistan, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia also advanced to the third round, slated to commence in September. Jordan finished atop Group G with a 2-1 upset victory over Saudi Arabia.

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