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Australia's qualification on hold
by Paul Kennedy, April 2nd, 2009 7AM



[WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING-ASIA] Australia moved to within one point of clinching a berth in the World Cup finals with a 2-0 win over Uzbekistan. South Korea took over the lead in Group B with a 1-0 victory over North Korea.

The Socceroos could have become the first team to qualify for South Africa 2010 if Bahrain and Qatar had played to a tie in the other Group A qualifier, but Bahrain won, 1-0.

"When I started 15 months ago," said Australia's Dutch coach Pim Verbeek, "people were in a panic about it being difficult qualifying for the World Cup through Asia. We have played five games -- 13 points, eight goals scored, zero against. Not too bad, eh?"

Group A
Australia 2 (Kennedy 66, Kewell pen. 73) Uzbekistan 0.
Bahrain 1 (Aaish 52) Qatar 0.
Australia 4 1 0 8 0 13
Japan 3 2 0 8 3 11
Bahrain 2 1 3 5 6 7
Uzbekistan 1 1 4 5 8 4
Qatar 1 1 4 4 13 4

Group B
South Korea 1 (Kim Chi-Woo 88) North Korea 0.
Saudi Arabia 3 (Autef pen. 4, own goal 71, Hazazi 83) UAE 2 (Al-Shehhi 38, Matar 45+1).
South Korea 3 2 0 9 3 11
North Korea 3 1 2 7 5 10
Saudi Arabia 3 1 2 8 8 10
Iran 1 3 1 6 6 6
UAE 0 1 5 6 14 1

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