Kyrgyzstan plays with defender in goal in qualifying match

The 99th-ranked side lost its match 0-1 to Mongolia, with Oyunbaataryn Mijiddorj scoring the winner for the visitors.

Defender Aizar Akmatov played between the posts because all three of the national team's keepers were self-isolating following a COVID-19 outbreak.   -  Reuters (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

Kyrgyzstan was forced to play a World Cup qualifying match with a defender in goal on Monday because all three of the national team's keepers were self-isolating following a COVID-19 outbreak.

Defender Aizar Akmatov instead played between the posts, allowing one goal in a 1-0 loss to Mongolia in Group F. Oyunbaataryn Mijiddorj scored in the 34th minute for the visitors.

Mongolia is ranked 192nd of FIFA's 211 teams. Kyrgyzstan is ranked 99th.

Japan clinches convincing win over Tajikstan

Also in Group F, Japan beat Tajikistan 4-1 for its seventh victory in seven matches in the second round of Asian qualifying.

Kyogo Furuhashi, Takumi Minamino, Kento Hashimoto and Hayao Kawabe all scored for Japan, while Ehsoni Panshanbe scored for Tajikistan — the first goal Japan has conceded in 549 minutes.

Syria became the second team to advance with a 3-0 win over Guam in Sharjah, its seventh successive win in Group A.

Only the eight group winners progress automatically to the third round, which is set to start in September, along with the four best second-place teams.

China can only hope to finish second despite a 2-0 win against the Philippines. The goals came from Wu Lei and Wu Xinghan but with just two games remaining, China is eight points behind Syria.

Australia hammers Taiwan

Australia defeated Taiwan 5-1 to win its sixth successive Group B game to stay five points clear of Jordan in second and needing just a win against Nepal on Friday to move to the next round.

Goals from Harry Souttar, Jamie Maclaren, Trent Sainsbury and two from Mitchell Duke secured the points, with Gao Wei-Jie scoring for Taiwan after 62 minutes.

Second-half goals from FC Zenit striker Sardar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi of Porto gave Iran a 3-0 win over Bahrain and second place in Group C, two points behind Iraq which defeated Cambodia 4-1.

Uzbekistan thrashed Singapore 5-0 to move two points behind the inactive Saudi Arabia in Group D while Vietnam stayed top of Group G with a 4-0 win over Indonesia in Dubai. United Arab Emirates moved into second, two points behind, after defeating Thailand 3-1.

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