The pair progressed on Tuesday’s final matchday to join the Kyrgyz Republic as the other new faces in the newly-expanded competition.
A team on a mission after missing out at the final hurdle in 2015, Philippines simply needed to avoid defeat at home against a Tajikistan side also chasing inaugural qualification.
The Tajiks took the lead but the home side spurred on by a buoyant crowd in Manila, got over the line as goals from Philip Younghusband and Kevin Ingreso clinched a famous 2-1 victory to lock up top spot in the group.
#3 Lennart Thy: VVV-Venlo striker to miss PSV game to donate stem cells
VVV-Venlo striker Lennart Thy will miss Saturday’s Eredivisie clash with PSV Eindhoven so he can donate stem cells to try and help a leukemia patient.
The 26-year-old German, who is on loan at the top-flight Dutch club from Werder Bremen, is a DNA match.
He will donate blood so doctors can generate stem cells for a transplant, which if successful can cure acute leukemia.
Thy, who joined the donor register seven years ago, has missed training this week and will return after the weekend.
#2 Colombia complete stunning comeback against France
A late penalty from Juan Quintero gave Colombia a superb come-from-behind 3-2 win over France in Paris.
The midfielder scored five minutes from time after goals from Luis Muriel and Radamel Falcao, who got the visitors back in the match after France went up 2-0 through goals from Olivier Giroud and Thomas Lemar.
While Paul Pogba started on the bench, Didier Deschamps started an attacking line-up, with Lemar, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Giroud leading the line as the Chelsea striker broke the deadlock with his 30th goal for his country after an error from David Ospina.
#1 Isco Hat Trick Leads Spain’s 6-1 Rout Over Messi-Less Argentina
Spain vs. Argentina was supposed to pit two of the top contenders for the 2018 World Cup title against each other in Madrid, but only one showed up.
With Lionel Messi watching from a stadium suite, sitting out a second straight game with a minor injury, Spain took Argentina to the woodshed, winning 6-1 at Atletico Madrid’s Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. Isco scored a hat trick, while Diego Costa, Thiago Alcantara, and Iago Aspas added the others in a statement victory for the 2010 World Cup champions.