7 biggest World Cup wins in Southeast Asian football

After a heroic 2-2 draw with Iraq in Tehran, Thailand made it to the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup . So where does that result rank in the modern history of World Cup qualification by Southeast Asian football teams against sides from outside the region? 

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FourFourTwo went to the record books to find out just where Thailand's victory ranks and we’ve come up with seven of the biggest results in recent Southeast Asian history. Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore all make the list, but John Duerden believes Thursday night's triumph tops them all.

1. 2018: Iraq 2-2 Thailand

Only the last minute lapse in concentration that turned a win into a draw puts doubt on whether Thursday's World Cup qualifying result is the region's best in modern times.

It still makes it in our view, just, for a number of reasons. The first was that it came away from home and Tehran is one of the hardest places to play given the travel, the altitude and the state of the pitch. Then there is the opposition

Iraq are one of the best teams in Asia – finishing fourth at the last Asian Cup and winners of the 2007 continental title. And the pressure was really on in a game with so much at stake.

It could be a turning point in Thailand’s football history.

2. 1986: Malaysia 1-0 South Korea

It's hard to imagine now but Malaysia and South Korea had some right old tussles in the ‘70s and ‘80s and this World Cup qualifier went the way of the Tigers.

Just after halftime and in front of an excitable crowd at the Merdeka Stadium, Dollah Salleh picked up the ball on the right, cut inside and then unleashed an unstoppable shot from outside the area.

The former striker may not be the most fondly remembered coach in Malaysia's football history, but that goal will never be forgotten. Korea had the last laugh, however, and ended up going to Mexico.

Less successful as Malaysia coach, Dollah scored a wonder goal against Korea

3. 1982: Indonesia 1-0 Australia

Socceroo coach Les Scheinflug lived to regret selecting some youngsters for the World Cup qualifier in Jakarta and Australia duly lost 1-0.

There were just two minutes remaining when Herry Risdianto got the only goal of the game.

It was a painful defeat as it ended Australia's chances of qualifying for Spain and meant that New Zealand were going instead.

4. 2002: Lebanon 1-2 Thailand

Yes, it was the home draw with Lebanon in Bangkok that sent Thailand into the final round, but this battling win in Beirut was the reason why a draw was enough.

On Thursday evening, Roda Antar left the field in South Korea for what was expected to be his last appearance in a Lebanon shirt. The former Bundesliga star has had a fine career and opened the scoring almost 15 years ago.

Peter Withe's men were made of stern stuff, however, and Seskan Piturat soon equalised and the current coach of the national team Kiatisuk Senamuang got what proved to be the winner before the half hour, sending Thailand on their way to a place in the final round, the first Southeast Asian nation to do so since Indonesia in 1986.