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UAE’s Ali Mabkhout celebrates scoring their second goal against Bahrain during the World Cup qualifiers Group H match at Bahrain National Stadium yesterday. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: UAE defeated Bahrain in the second round of the 2026 Fifa World Cup Asian Qualifiers to further consolidate their position on the top of Group H table with six points. Abdullah Ramadan put the visitors in the lead when he struck in the 36th minute before Ali Mabkhout scored in the 90th minute to ensure UAE finished with a 2-0 win.

UAE have two wins and a draw in the four-team table.

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Palestine's defender Camilo Saldana takes control of the ball during the match against Australia at Jaber Al Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City yesterday. Image Credit: AFP

Huge crowd

Meanwhile, Palestinian flags and the black-and-white keffiyeh scarf flew high in Kuwait’s Jaber Al Ahmad International Stadium in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

Thousands of Palestinians and their sympathisers turned out at the 60,000-seat venue for the game against Australia, Palestine’s first in front of fans since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

“Palestine is in our hearts. We came to the stadium, old and young, in support,” Anfal Al-Azmi, a 45-year-old Kuwaiti woman, told AFP.

Defender Harry Souttar’s 18th-minute goal was all that separated the teams in a 1-0 win for Australia.

Australia’s players will donate a portion of their match fee to humanitarian operations in Gaza, whose situation was described as “horrific” by visiting coach Graham Arnold. Australia are top of the group with six points, four ahead of Lebanon who drew 1-1 with Bangladesh.

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South Korea's Park Yong-woo (from left), Son Heung-min, Hwang In-beom, Lee Kang-in and Kim Min-jae celebrate against China at Shenzhen yesterday. Image Credit: AFP

Korea beat China

Son Heung-min scored twice and set up the third as South Korea beat China 3-0 in Shenzhen on Tuesday to complete back-to-back wins. Son put the Koreans in front in the Group C clash in the second phase of Asia’s preliminaries when he steered an 11th-minute penalty to the right of Chinese goalkeeper Yan Junling.

He added the second in the 45th minute with a header following Lee Kang-in’s corner before turning provider three minutes from time when he drifted in a free kick that Jung Seung-hyun headed past Yan to seal the victory.

The win maintains the Koreans’ perfect record after two games in the second round of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup and was China’s first defeat after winning against Thailand on Thursday.

The Thais bounced back from that loss to beat Singapore 3-1 with Suphanat Mueanta scoring twice in the second half for Mano Polking’s team, who move level with China on three points.

Japan also recorded a second successive win with Ayase Ueda scoring twice in a 5-0 thrashing of Syria in Jeddah that gives Hajime Moriyasu’s side a three-point lead over North Korea and the Syrians in Group B.

Jong Il Gwan scored a hat-trick as North Korea picked up their first win of the campaign with a 6-1 thrashing of Myanmar in Yangon having started their quest for a place at the finals last Thursday with a loss against Syria.

Second-half goals from Oston Orunov and Igor Sergeev saw Uzbekistan fight back from a two-goal halftime deficit to draw 2-2 with Iran in Group E, leaving both teams on four points, three ahead of Hong Kong and Turkmenistan following their 2-2 draw.

Mohanad Ali scored six minutes into injury time to earn Iraq a 1-0 win over hosts Vietnam in Group F as Jesus Casas’ side moved onto six points.

Vietnam remain second in the group standings after the Philippines and Indonesia shared a 1-1 draw in Manila.

Substitute Darren Lok claimed the only goal as Malaysia defeated Taiwan for their second win in Group D while Kyrgyzstan won 1-0 against Oman to join the Gulf side on three points.

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Qatar's Yusuf Abdurisag celebrates scoring their third goal against India at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, yesterday. Image Credit: Reuters

Qatar won their second game in a row with a 3-0 defeat of India in Group A and Yemen picked up their first victory in Group H with a 2-0 win over Nepal.

Tajikistan downed Pakistan 6-1 with Amadoni Kamolov hitting a brace in Islamabad in Group G, where Saudi Arabia will be looking to follow up their opening win over Pakistan with another victory when they take on Jordan in Amman.

With input from agencies