Japan, China, Nepal and Tajikistan qualify for AFC U-17 Championship
18 November 2005
KUALA LUMPUR: Continental powerhouses Japan and current defending champions China qualified for the AFC U-17 Championship on a busy match-day Thursday which also saw Nepal and Tajikistan spring a surprise by defeating stronger teams and making the grade.
The 14 group winners automatically qualify and play in the Championship in Singapore next year. Another spot will be available from a playoff between an ASEAN and East Asian team though the identity of the teams is not decided yet.
In Group L, Japan needed a draw against the Korea Republic and got it 1-1 in Paju while China, also in need of a simple draw from Group M, thrashed the Chinese Taipei 9-0 to make their qualification doubly sure. In Group N, DPR Korea have to draw with Hong Kong on Friday to advance after the latter held Guam to a 2-2 draw on Thursday. DPR Korea had demolished Guam 17-2 in the first match.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL
India’s requirement was a draw but Tajikistan had other plans in mind as they played out of their skin in New Delhi for a 3-2 win. Pakistan the other team in Group G were already out of the running after two defeats. Nepal inflicted a confident 2-0 defeat on Uzbekistan to make their way to the Championship as the surprise package from Group F which also had Kyrgyzstan.
Iran had one leg in the finals after a 5-0 first leg win in their double-header against Turkmenistan and carried out a 5-2 demolition in the second leg in Ashgabat on Thursday.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will go head-to-head on November 21 and 25 from this zone in Group E.
Myanmar played cautiously and got the draw, 1-1, they wanted against Thailand in Bangkok to qualify from Group J while Vietnam edged Malaysia 1-0 in Group K to advance to the Championship proper. Group I, which comprises Australia, Indonesia and Laos, will play later though the dates have not yet been decided.
Saudi Arabia progressed after dashing Oman’s hopes of qualification after a rampant 4-0 defeat in Muscat in Group C while the UAE did Syria a favour by beating Kuwait 2-0 who needed to win by a margin of more than three goals.
Yemen have already qualified from Group B which had Bahrain and Qatar too. Meanwhile, the Group A matches of Iraq, Jordan and Palestine have been put off till further notice.
QUALIFIERS TILL DATE
Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria (all West), Nepal, Tajikistan, Iran, (all South and Central), Myanmar, Vietnam hosts Singapore (all ASEAN), Japan, China (East).