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News number: 8803280182

12:32 | 2009-06-18

Sports

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Iran Fails to Qualify for 2010 World Cup

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian national soccer team failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup after a match between Saudi Arabia and North Korea controversially resulted in a goalless draw.



The draw in came at King Fahd stadium in Riyadh on Wednesday night in the final match of the Asian Group B. Earlier in the day, the Iranian outfit was held to a 1-1 draw against South Korea in Seoul.

South Korea and North Korea directly qualified for the 2010 World Cup with 16 and 14 points respectively while Saudi Arabia was placed third in the group on goal difference and swept into play-off round on 12 points, while Iran ranked 4th in the table with 11 points, Press tv reported.

Osasuna's Masoud Shojaei put Iran ahead six minutes after the break, before Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung scored the equalizer nine minutes from time.

Saudi Arabia and North Korea both seemed reluctant to score goal, raising the doubt over whether the outcome of the match was a result of match-fixing. Any result, other than a draw, meant a qualifying chance for Iran.

Saudi Arabia must now play a two-leg match against Bahrain in the play-off round.

Asia has four automatic qualifying berths, with the third-placed teams in the two groups playing each other for a chance to take on the Oceania zone victor, New Zealand. The winner will book a place in the World Cup finals.