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Qualifying for 2022 World Cup gets underway in Asia

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: General view inside the stadium as an image of the World Cup Trophy is seen on the pitch prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup got underway in Asia on Thursday, with Mongolia and Macau among the teams earning first-leg wins in the preliminary round.

Mongolia beat Brunei 2-0 in Ulaanbaatar, with captain Tsedenbal Norjmaa scoring from a free kick after nine minutes and Naranbold Nyam-Osor netting in the second half.

[MORE: 2019 Women’s World Cup: Group Stage Predictions]

Macau beat Sri Lanka 1-0 while Cambodia, coached by former Japan international Keisuke Honda, won 2-0 against Pakistan.

Also Bangladesh won 1-0 in Laos and Bhutan beat Guam 1-0.

The return legs take place next week. The opening round of qualifiers features Asia’s 12 lowest-ranked teams, with the six winners joining 34 other countries in the group stage that kicks off in September.

Malaysia plays Timor Leste on Friday.