There were no major surprises as Asia's mightiest footballing nations restarted the qualification campaign in style. All Japan, South Korea and Australia registered thumping victories, while more nations like North Korea and India got fixtures lined up for the night.
Here are the major results of the day so far in 10 points:
1. Japan, South Korea and Australia all notched up comfortable wins on Thursday as the second phase of Asian qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup kicked off for the region's dominant nations.
2. Japan's Ayase Ueda scored a hat-trick as a largely second-string side defeated Myanmar 5-0 after Hajime Moriyasu chose to leave many of his leading performers on the bench.
3. Ueda put the Japanese ahead in the 11th minute at Suita Stadium outside Osaka when he headed in Takumi Minamino's lofted pass and Daichi Kamada doubled the advantage 17 minutes later from distance.
4. Ritsu Doan's angled through ball set up Ueda to claim his second in first-half injury time with a neat first-time finish and he completed his hat trick five minutes into the second half after another Minamino dink unlocked the Myanmar defence.Doan scored the fifth four minutes from time with a cool finish as the Japanese made light work of their visitors.
5. The Blue Samurais are next up against Syria. The Group B clash will take place in Jeddah on Tuesday.
6. The South Koreans scored four times in the second half to hand Singapore a 5-0 defeat at Seoul World Cup Stadium, with captain Son Heung-min among the scorers.
7. Cho Gue-sung put Juergen Klinsmann's team in front a minute before the halftime break and Hwang Hee-chan added the second four minutes into the second half. Son hit the third in the 63rd minute before Hwang Ui-jo's penalty and Lee Kang-in's late effort confirmed the victory for the Koreans in Group C.
8. Australia demolished Bangladesh 7-0 in Group I with Jamie Maclaren stepping off the bench to score a second-half hat-trick.
9. Mitchell Duke hit a brace late in the first half as Australia trampled over the 183rd-ranked south Asians at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. Goals from Harry Souttar and Brandon Borrello had given the hosts a two-goal lead inside the first 20 minutes while Duke then scored twice in four minutes, nodding in a header from Metcalfe's assist before firing in a rebound off the post.
10. Maclaren did all the damage in the second half, scoring from a Jordan Bos cross shortly after the restart before pouncing again in the 70th when a Massimo Luongo shot pinged off goalkeeper Mitul Marma. Lewis Miller then set up Maclaren's hat-trick goal in the 84th minute with another neat cross.