WORLD CUP: Asian qualifying round-up

Asia

After two years of matches in the Asian qualifying tournament, Japan, Australia, Iran and Korea Republic can now book their flights to Brazil for the summer of 2014. Will Burns presents a full review of the all the action from matchday ten.

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GroupA

KOREA REPUBLIC 0-1 IRAN: After South Korea cost them a place at the 2010 finals, Iran gained revenge by defeating the same opponents by a Reza Ghoochannejhad goal to qualify for 2014. Choi Kanghee’s home side were in control throughout, but against the run of play Ghoochannejhad stole the ball from Kim Younggwon, before cutting into the box and sealing the victory with what was their first shot on goal.

UZBEKISTAN 5-1 QATAR: Uzbekistan scored all of their five goals in the last half an hour of the game to come from behind to thrash Qatar. The result, coupled with Korea Republic’s 1-0 loss to Iran, left the Uzbeks level with the Taeguk Warriors on 14 points only to see the Iranians to progress on goal difference. Knowing their needed a win to have a chance of progressing, the Uzbeks began brightly but squandered a series of glorious chances. They paid for those misses as the visitors that took the lead when Abdulqadir Ilyas caught goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov out with a curling shot. Frustrated they may have been, but the hosts saw their hopes regenerated by a game-changing double substitution. With his first touch of the ball, Bahodir Nasimov scored the equaliser and after Oleg Zoteev gave his side the lead, Nasimov latched onto a long ball to make it 3-1. Odil Ahmedov scored from an tight angle to make it four, before Ulugbek Bakaev sealed the triumph scoring the fifth. Uzbekistan will play in Jordan in a two-legged showdown which has been arranged for the 6th and 10th of September this year. The winners will advance to a meeting with the fifth placed side from CONMEBOL for a spot to the finals.

20130618 - Asian Group A

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GroupB

AUSTRALIA 1-0 IRAQ: Substitute Josh Kennedy came to the Socceroos’s rescue, heading home the only goal of the game which just seven minutes remaining which sealed Australia’s World Cup qualification. With the Iraqis’ fielding a diluted side many Aussie supporters and press were predicting a big win. But the visitors playing for pride, put in a plucky display as they kept the score down and for the majority of the match, the hopeful hosts at bay.

JORDAN 1-0 OMAN: After tasting a 4-0 defeat in Australia last week, Jordan rallied together to overcome Oman with Ahmad Hayel heading home the only goal. The result saw Jordan edge the Omanis by a single point to finish in third place. The visitors had the better of the opening half, but the hosts upped the tempo after the restart, with Hayel grabbing the match-winner with a spectacular diving header.

20130618 - Asian Group B

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