Saudi Arabia made headlines in the second round of the AFC section of World Cup qualifying on Tuesday as Mohammad Al Sahlawi scored five times in a 10-0 hammering of East Timor.
The Al Nassr striker opened his account with a penalty just prior to the half-hour, and doubled his tally shortly before half-time.
Al Sahlawi completed his hat-trick with another spot-kick 10 minutes into the second half, and then added two more for good measure as Saudi Arabia romped to victory in Group A.
In Group C, Qatar advanced to the third round of qualifying by maintaining their perfect record with a 3-0 win at Bhutan, while Hong Kong and China played out a goalless draw.
Iran were also comfortable winners as they thrashed Guam 6-0 in Group D, Mehdi Taremi netting a brace as Carlos Queiroz’s side moved three points clear of Oman, who lost 2-1 at Turkmenistan.
Tim Cahill netted a first-half hat-trick as Australia cruised to a 4-0 victory over Bangladesh. The former Everton star completed his treble in the 37th minute, Mile Jedinak adding a fourth two minutes prior to the interval before the Socceroos took their foot off the pedal in the second period.
The win moves Australia two points clear of Jordan, who suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to Kyrgyzstan in Group B’s other fixture.
South Korea managed to go one better than Australia, securing a comfortable 5-0 success at Laos.
Doubles from Premier League stars Ki Sung-yueng and Son Heung-min helped the Group G leaders move eight points clear of Kuwait, whose fixture with Myanmar was postponed by FIFA due to government interference on the Kuwaitis’ part.
Japan defeated Cambodia 2-0, while North Korea and Iraq triumphed by the same scoreline over Bahrain and Chinese Taipei respectively.
Elsewhere, Syria won 2-1 at Singapore, UAE defeated Malaysia 2-1 and Uzbekistan cruised to a 3-1 success at Yemen.
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