[QODLink]
Football

Brazil welcome Iran and South Korea

South Korea squeeze into Brazil World Cup by skin of its teeth as Iran finish top of Group A in Asian qualifying.

Last Modified: 18 Jun 2013 15:30
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Iran reach fourth World Cup finals while it is eight times on the bounce for South Korea [Reuters]

Iran won 1-0 at South Korea on Tuesday in a result that secured both teams a spot at next year's World Cup, but the hosts only just scraped through and had to wait until after the final whistle to know their fate.

Iran finished top of Group A in the final stage of Asian qualifying, while South Korea finished second, level on points with Uzbekistan but holding second place by virtue of goal difference. Uzbekistan came from behind to win 5-1 at home against Qatar in a simultaneous game.

The storming finish ultimately came up short, leaving the Uzbeks on a plus-five goal difference while South Korea was plus-six.

The winning goal came in the 60th minute. Kim Young-gwon failed to clear a speculative ball forward and Reza Ghoochannejad robbed him of possession, sprinted clear and sent a well-placed curling left-foot shot beyond goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryeong.

South Korea, not wanting to put their fate in the hands of the game in Uzbekistan, pressed forward strongly for the remainder of the game but could not equalise.

Kim almost made up for his mistake, but his close-range shot in the 86th minute produced a reflex save from keeper Rahman Ahmadi and Jang Hyun-soo's follow-up was also blocked.

As Iran players, coach Carlos Queiroz and officials celebrated wildly on the pitch, the South Korean squad and fans were kept in suspense while the last couple of minutes of the Uzbekistan game were played out, before they knew they were also through to next year's tournament in Brazil. 

South Korea's trip to Brazil will be their eighth-straight World Cup appearance - including one as co-host in 2002 - while Iran qualified for the World Cup for the fourth time, having missed out on South Africa 2010.

285

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
join our mailing list