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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

North Korea, Qatar win to stay in first place in World Cup qualifying groups

North Korea, Qatar, Thailand and Jordan all won on Tuesday to maintain their group leads in the second round of Asian qualifying for the World Cup.

Jong Il Gwan's 12th-minute penalty gave North Korea a 1-0 win over Yemen in Group H.

The North Koreans opened a four-point lead over Uzbekistan, who have a game in hand.

In the other Group H game, Ismail Abdul-Latif and Sayed Adnan both scored early in the second half to give Bahrain their second win in qualifying, 2-0 at home against the Philippines.


Jordan surprise Australia in World Cup qualifying as Japan, South Korea win

ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik questions whether Australia might have been a bit complacent heading into in their AFC World Cup qualifying loss against Jordan.

Jordan scored twice in the second half to upset continental champions Australia 2-0 on Thursday and move to the top of Group B in the second round of Asian qualifying for the World Cup.

The result, in front of a passionate home crowd in Amman, gave Jordan a one point lead over the Socceroos with four games remaining.

Jordan's pace troubled the Asian Cup winners for most of the game and the hosts took the lead two minutes into the second half when Hassan Abdel Fattah blasted a penalty high into...

 By Jason Dasey

Former I-League champion Bencherifa linked to big Southeast Asian jobs

Former Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa, seen here with the UEFA Champions League trophy in 2013, won six pieces of silverware in seven years in India.

Former S.League head coach Karim Bencherifa hails from Morocco and had his greatest success in India, where he won the 2011 league and Cup double with Salgaocar and would become the nation's highest ever paid manager.

Now, as the second season of the India Super League gets underway, the 47-year-old has returned to Singapore for family reasons, and has been linked to high profile national jobs in Southeast Asia.

When Bencherifa re-emerged in Singapore in July, local newspapers reported that he was...

India coach Constantine plans for WC qualifier amid naturalisation debate

India head coach Stephen Constantine previews his side's AFC World Cup qualifier against Iran and discusses the troubles with schedule's between the ISL and World Cup qualifying action.

As national coach Stephen Constantine prepares his squad for the Group D World Cup qualifier against Asian giants Iran in Bengaluru on Sep. 8, the debate about whether to fast-track Europe-based players of Indian origin into the national team rages on.

India's hopes of progressing to the third round of World Cup qualifiers were rocked in June when the Blue Tigers went down 2-1 to a Guam side that consisted of six players that grew up in the United States.

Currently, only Indian passport holders...