SINGAPORE (3 Sept 2011) – Singapore and Thailand almost delivered upsets in their respective games of the third round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers but in the end, had to be content with identical 2-1 losses to China and Australia respectively.
In matches that were all played away from home, Singapore fell 2-1 to China; Thailand also faltered 2-1 to Australia while Indonesia slumped to a 3-0 loss to Iran.
Veteran striker Aleksandr Duric gave the Lions the best of start on 33rd minute at the Tuodong Sports Centre in Kunming but the hosts fought back with two goals in the second half for the win.
A penalty in the 69th minute off Zheng Zhi put the Chinese on level terms before Yu Hai ensured the full points for the home team four minutes later.
In the meantime, the Thais also had a fabulous start when they carved out the lead off Teerasil Dangda in the 14th minute for them to be 1-0 in front at the half.
But the Aussies, buoyed by their fans at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, upped the tempo in the second half with a Joshua Kennedy’s goal in the 58th minute.
Alex Brosque then completed the win for the homesters with the winner with four minutes remaining on the clock.
Indonesia on the other hand made up for their failure to score in the first half when they held Iran scoreless until after the restart.
Jevad Nekonam was quick to score the lead in the 53rd minute before doubling the lead for Iran with his second goal of the evening on 74 minutes.
Andranik Timotian Samarani then wrapped things up for Iran with the third goal a minute to the end.