Al Muwallad scores brace as Saudis ease past Yemen

Saudi Arabia beats Yemen 3-0 and opens up a five-point gap over second-placed Uzbekistan in Group D of Asia's World Cup 2022 preliminaries.

Uzbekistan's next game is against Singapore on Tuesday. - GETTY IMAGES (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

Saudi Arabia opened up a five-point gap over second-placed Uzbekistan in Group D of Asia's World Cup 2022 preliminaries on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Yemen in Riyadh.

Salem Al Dawsari opened the scoring for Herve Renard's side with just four minutes on the clock and a brace from Fahad Al Muwallad gave the 2018 World Cup qualifiers a 3-0 lead by the 32nd minute.

Saudi Arabia moves on to 14 points from six games, five more than second-placed Uzbekistan, which has played one game fewer.

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Uzbekistan faces Singapore in the Saudi capital on Tuesday and a win will maintain its hopes of taking the one guaranteed spot in the next phase of qualifying available from the group. Only the eight group winners in the second round of Asia's qualifying competition for next year's World Cup in Qatar advance to the next round, where they will be joined by the four runners-up with the best records.

Japan is the only nation to have secured its place in the third round so far, with the remainder of the qualifiers due to be completed by June 15.

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