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 By John Duerden

Syria and Singapore stand in way of mighty Japan in World Cup Group E

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson discusses Singapore's upcoming World Cup qualifier against Afghanistan at National Stadium on October 8th.

Here's a strange thought: when the second round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup reaches the halfway stage on Thursday, it could see Singapore level on points with Japan in Group E.

And here's something stranger: by the end of next week the Lions could be three points clear of the Samurai Blue. It's still a long shot, but as goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud showed in June in Saitama when the Lions grabbed a famous goalless draw, Singapore can handle shots, both short and long.

Those two points dropped...

Singapore extend German coach Stange's contract till end of WCQ

FAS extended Bernd Stange's contract till the end of April 2015. Photo credit: FAS

Singapore head coach Bernd Stange indicated that he was targeting qualification for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after having his contract extended until April of next year.

Football Association of Singapore (FAS) ended speculation on Friday by announcing that the German would stay for at least another six months.

The decision comes after the Lions' solid start to their 2018 AFC World Cup campaign, which doubles as qualifiers for the next Asian Cup in United Arab Emirates.

Singapore are third in Group...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Japan hit Afghanistan for six as Australia beat Tajikistan

Japan celebrate Shinji Kagawa's first goal.

Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki both scored twice as Japan powered to a 6-0 win over Afghanistan in AFC World Cup qualifying.

Kagawa scored a goal in each half to send Japan towards victory in a match played in the Iranian city of Tehran.

The Borussia Dortmund man followed up a superb long-range effort in the 10th minute with a cool finish in the 50th as the Samurai Blue raced to a three-goal lead just after half-time, with Masato Morishige also on target.

Leicester City striker Okazaki then scored...

 By Kelvin Leong

Baihakki says Singapore outclassed Syria despite losing WCQ

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson break down Singapore's 1-0 loss to Syria in 2018 World Cup qualifying.

Veteran defender Baihakki Khaizan believes that Singapore were unlucky in their 1-0 loss to Syria in their AFC World Cup qualifier on Thursday night.

It was their first defeat in three competitive games, having beaten Cambodia and drawn with Japan in June. 

An Ouday Abdul Jaffal goal in the 59th minute gave Syria all three points in the game played in Muscat, Oman. It was a result that looked unlikely in the first half with Singapore creating numerous goalscoring opportunities.


ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Son Heung-Min nets hat trick for South Korea, Shinji Kagawa seals Japan win

Tottenham Hotspur's new signing Son Heung-Min scored a hat trick as South Korea recorded an emphatic 8-0 win over Laos in Asian World Cup qualifying Group G.

Son, who signed for Tottenham from Bayer Leverkusen last week, was joined on the scoresheet by Lee Chung-Yong, Lee Jae-sung, Chang-Hoon Kwon (two) and Hyun-Jun Suk to make it two wins from as many games.

Also in Group G, Kuwait cruised to a 9-0 win over Myanmar. The hosts already led 6-0 when Zaw Aung was sent off in the 68th minute, and Bader...