Plenty of goals and history made

It was back to international duty this week and we saw some of East Asia's giants overcome some minows of the national game. The high scoring matches though were not the main talking points to take from Thursday's fixtures. This was seen with history being made with females at a stadium in Iran and with Iraq hosting a game. 

History was made

The goals will come but first, a look at the history that was made on the international week in Asia. It was all eyes then on Group C.

There is only one place to start in that Group and that is in Iran, in a match that made history. A visit from Keisuke Honda's Cambodia to Iran you would not think would be hugely important.

However, this time it was very different as after worldwide pressure and threats from FIFA Iran finally allowed females to attend a football match in the country for the first time in 40 years. The match ended 14-0 in the end to Iran but that was just the sideshow.

As the 3,000 female fans in a segregated area of the ground could cheer on their country while also paying tribute to a female who died protesting for their rights. It is hoped that this will now be the beginning of the corner turned in Iran towards females rights.

Then as if that was not enough another match in the same Group saw Hong Kong take on Iraq in Basra. It was to make history as the first time the nation had played a match on home soil in eight-years.

It was to be a happy return too as they run out 2-0 winners over Mixu's men. Mark Henderson covered this in more detail so make sure to give it a read. 

China run riot over Guam

A look now at Group A as we saw an all East Asian tie in Guangzhou with China taking on Guam. This was a big moment for the small island of just 164,000 as they did very well to reach this point. 

In the end, China run out comfortable winners 7-0 but looking at the other results this was a fairly respectful scoreline. 

To the football itself, it was Yang Xu who really impressed for the home side as he picked up four of the seven goals. The Tianjin Tianhai attacker with only five goals for his club this season will am sure have been very happy with his night's work. 

After the match, Yang told Chinese media that this was beginning and he hoped to score more against the weaker and stronger sides in the Group. He also went on to add that he felt China have a great chance of reaching the World Cup.

It is all positive talk right now for China but in truth, they have a long way to go as Iran, South Korea and Japan are quite far ahead in quality still. 

Nice and easy for South Korea 

South Korea went one better than China as they went on to run out 8-0 winners over Sri Lanka. Then for Korea, it was to be everyone's favourite tall striker Kim Shin-Wook 'Wookie' who picked up four goals.

In all, it was very routine for Korea, with the only negative being the empty seats and Son's booking for not leaving the pitch correctly when being substituted. A decision that clearly angered coach Paulo Bento as he said on the referee "I don't understand common sense. I think the referee wanted to get some attention."

The match also saw the return of Nam Tae-Hee who had not played for his country in over a year through injury. The technically gifted midfielder would have been happy for the run-out and am sure a lot more is to come from him.

Next up for Korea on Tuesday is a slightly tougher challenge as they face North Korea in their first-ever competitive match in Pyongyang. Despite the fact they have played each other on many occasions they have not faced each other in Pyongyang for competitive football before.

It is sure to spark passion from both sides although there will be no away fans at this match.

Japan overcome Mongolia 

To Japan, a nation that will be looking to make the 2022 World Cup and they took on Mongolia another country just happy to be at this point of qualification.

In the end, it was to be routine for the home side in Saitama as they overcame a Mongolian side that is improving. The match saw Japan win 6-0 with the goals shared out between six scorers.

One player who didn't make the scoresheet was Ito who has struggled for goals and he will be disappointed not to get a goal in Ōsako absence.

Meanwhile, Yuto Nagatomo picked up his first goal for his country in ten years when he put his side three up on 34 minutes.

Japan now has Tajikistan on Tuesday on a long trip and the hope will be the players will be freshened up in time to go again. 

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