[QODLink]
Sport
NZ beat Bahrain to World Cup
Rory Fallon strike and Sayed Adnan saved penalty deny Bahrain first finals appearance.
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2009 10:26 GMT

Captain Nelsen tries to get his head round New Zealand's trip to South Africa [AFP]
Bahrain suffered World Cup heartbreak when Sayed Adnan's saved penalty denied them a first appearance at the finals – and sent New Zealand through to South Africa 2010.

Rory Fallon scored a first-half header as the All Whites secured a 1-0 win in their Asia/Oceania playoff second leg following a 0-0 draw in Manama last month.

New Zealand, champions of the Oceania zone, had their only previous World Cup appearance in Spain in 1982.

Fallon, whose father Kevin was assistant manager of the 1982 side, sealed their ticket to next year's finals in South Africa when he powered home Leo Bertos' corner in the final minute of the first half at a sold-out Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Premature celebration

Bahrain needed only a score draw to qualify and were celebrating in front of their small group of vocal fans when Abdulla Omar was brought down in the box by Tony Lochhead for a penalty.

However, Adnan's weak effort was easily saved by Paston to the delight of most of Saturday's 35,194 crowd.

New Zealand's Shane Smeltz had an opportunity to kill the game off in the 70th minute when he was put through by Bertos, but his deft flick went just wide.

Fallon had another chance 10 minutes later as New Zealand caught Bahrain on the break but his shot was blocked by the defence, while substitute Chris Wood and Smeltz also had half chances in injury time.

New Zealand were led superbly by captain Ryan Nelsen in the centre of defence while Jaycee John looked the most dangerous for the visitors, his snap shot from the edge of the box producing a superb save by Paston in the 31st minute.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Friends of Steven Sotloff, allegedly the second journalist shown in Islamic State beheading video, call for his release.
Cut off from bulk of Tunisia's economic development, residents of rural towns are creating their own opportunities.
Craft breweries see rising sales, challenging large corporations for a bigger taste of Mexico's $20bn beer market.
Questions of colonialism after Malawi opts for English as medium of instruction in schools rather than local languages.
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
join our mailing list