RPL players on international duty: Azmoun, Hadi and Hashimoto through to third stage of 2022 World Cup qualification

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On 15 June, three RPL players participated in the final matches of the second round of Asian 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Group C

Iran 1-0 Iraq

Zenit striker Sardar Azmoun scored the winning goal against Iraq in the 35th minute and earned a yellow card in the 77th. The Iranian scored for the second consecutive game and took his international goal tally to 37. Krylia Sovetov and Iraq national team midfielder Safaa Hadi played the full match.

Thanks to the victory, Iran topped Group C on 18 points. Iraq came second one point further back, with both teams qualified for the third round of qualifiers.

Group F

Japan 5-1 Kyrgyzstan

Rostov midfielder Kento Hashimoto came on in the 62nd minute, by which time the hosts were leading 3-1. Japan finished the second round of qualifiers with eight wins and 46 goals scored (the best performance in this round) in eight matches and went through to the third round in first place.

Format of the third round of qualifiers

A total of 12 teams qualified for the next stage in the Asian zone: seven group winners (Syria, Australia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea) and the top five second-place teams (China, Iraq, Oman, Vietnam and Lebanon). These teams also automatically qualified for the final stage of the 2023 Asian Cup. 

The participants will be divided into two groups of six teams and will play each other home and away. The preliminary date of the first round is 2 September 2021, and the last round is 22 March 2022.

The top two in each group will qualify directly for the 2022 World Cup finals. The third-placed teams will play a play-off match, and the winner will advance to the intercontinental play-off, where two World Cup berths will be played for between representatives of Asia, CONCACAF, South America and Oceania.

Photo: Vyacheslav Evdokimov / Zenit


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