Harib Abdalla Suhail scored the all-important purpose because the UAE surprised South Korea 1-0 on Tuesday to advance to an Asian qualifying playoff towards Australia on the highway to the World Cup in Qatar. South Korea and Iran had already made the reduce immediately from Group A within the remaining spherical of qualifying, leaving the UAE and Iraq in a crunch battle to clinch the third spot so as to earn the best to fulfill Australia, who completed third in Group B.
The winners of that match will meet a South American staff in an inter-continental playoff with the victors advancing to the World Cup correct.
The loss in Dubai on Tuesday was South Korea’s first defeat in 10 matches as they completed second in Group A with 23 factors, two behind prime facet Iran.
The Emiratis have been within the finals of the quadrennial showpiece solely as soon as, in 1990, and though they had been allowed solely a miserly 23 p.c ball possession, they managed to sneak a purpose by the South Korean defence within the 54th minute to seize a vital victory and end on 12 factors.
Mohammed al-Balushi offered the help with a headed cross and after a 40-yard run Suhail discovered the underside proper nook of the South Korean web with a tremendous left-footed shot.
The rattled South Koreans tried their utmost to seek out the equaliser however the hosts held agency to maintain their hopes alive by way of the playoff route.
Iraqi hopes evaporate
Iraq confronted Syria a number of kilometres throughout Dubai on the Rashid Stadium however the Iraqis fell behind within the third minute to an Alaa al-Dali purpose earlier than Aymen Hussein’s thirty first minute strike helped them restore parity.
Iraq would have made the playoff provided that that they had crushed Syria and the UAE drew with or misplaced to South Korea. Earlier Iran beat Lebanon 2-0 to complete in prime spot with Sardar Azmoun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh on the right track on the Imam Reza Stadium in Mashhad.
Lebanon too had an outdoor likelihood of qualifying for the playoff if that they had received and the UAE and Iraq misplaced on Tuesday however the hosts had been too robust for them as they crashed to their sixth defeat in Group A.
In the meantime, Saudi Arabia topped Group B after a 1-0 win over Australia noticed them end on 23 factors, one level forward of Japan.
Australia had a purpose disallowed by VAR late within the first half after Martin Boyle was dominated offside of their final match in Group B within the port metropolis of Jeddah.
The Socceroos crashed to their third defeat as they conceded a penalty within the sixty fifth minute and Salem al-Dawsari made no mistake along with his effort.
In different matches Oman completed on a excessive by beating China 2-0 whereas Japan, who’ve already certified for Qatar, and Vietnam performed out a 1-1 draw.
For China, who’ve performed within the finals solely as soon as earlier than, it was yet one more disappointing qualifying marketing campaign as they completed fifth in Group B with only one win and 6 defeats.
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