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North Korea On The Rise

  • Reuters, Wednesday, February 11, 2009 3 PM
North Korea and Bahrain were the winners in Wednesday's Asian World Cup qualifiers, while Australia stretched its unbeaten run with a handy 0-0 draw in Japan.
On a low-scoring day, North Korea beat Saudi Arabia, 1-0, in Pyongyang when Mun In-guk took advantage of a clever back-heel from Hong Yong-jo to score on 28 minutes. The North Koreans withstood a second-half onslaught from the Saudis to move up to second place in Group Two, a point behind group leaders South Korea, who drew 1-1 at Iran.
In Group One, Bahrain's Mahmood Abdulrahman scored the only goal of the game in injury time to give his side three points in Uzbekistan. The win moved Bahrain up to third, just behind Japan, which had the best of the game against group leader Australia, but failed to score. The top two teams in each of the two groups will qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The two third-placed sides will playoff for the chance to take on Oceania champions New Zealand for one more berth.

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