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Doha: Kuwait made it two wins out two in Group G of the second preliminary round of joint-qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup with Al Azraq stalwart Bader Al Motawaa scoring the last three goals of an emphatic 9-0 victory over Myanmar on Thursday.

Kuwait made a flying start to their second match of the qualifiers and were 3-0 up with just 18 minutes played.

After coming off the bench to score Kuwait’s winner in their opening Group G match away to Lebanon, Yousef Naser earned a place in the starting 11 against Myanmar and the Kazma forward vindicated coach Nabil Maaloul’s decision by scoring twice in the first half as Al Azraq went into the break with a 3-0 lead

Naser broke the deadlock at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium with 11 minutes gone and after Ali Al Maqseed doubled the lead just 60 seconds later before the 24-year-old grabbed his second and Kuwait’s third in the 18th minute.

Myanmar, who are managed by former Kuwait coach, held out for the remainder of the first half only to concede for a fourth time just a minute after the restart when Faisal Zayed Al Harbi got his name on the scoresheet.

Myanmar were next to have the ball in the net ten minutes later but unfortunately for the ASEAN side it was at the wrong end with Kuwait going 5-0 up thanks to an own goal from Yangon United defender Zaw Min Tun before an Abulaziz Al Enezi strike just after the hour mark took the tally to six.

But Myanmar’s miserable night didn’t end there with the visitors, who had defender Aung Zaw sent off, conceding three more times before the final whistle.

Bader Al Motawaa made it 7-0 with a 69th minute penalty and after the three-time AFC Player of the Year nominee scored his second of the night with two minutes of the 90 remaining, the veteran of over 150 matches for Kuwait completed his hat-trick three minutes into stoppage time.

Kuwait will be hoping to maintain their prolific form on Tuesday when they take on a Laos side looking to put their disappointing 8-0 loss to Korea Republic, who top the Group G table ahead of the 1980 AFC Asian Cup winners on goal difference.

The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup.

Photo: AFP

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