Australia, South Korea and Iran joined Japan in qualifying for next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil on Tuesday. In Sydney, substitute Josh Kennedy’s 83rd minute header from a Mark Bresciano cross secured a 1-0 win for Australia against Iraq, which was enough to lift the Socceroos above Oman and Jordan in the race for second-place in Group A. In Ulsan, Reza Ghoochannejhad’s 60th minute goal was enough for Iran to overtake South Korea in Group A, although the Koreans still qualified thanks to a superior goal difference versus third-place Uzbekistan.
"It's amazing for the country," Aussie captain Lucas Neill said after the win against Iraq. "Three World Cups (in a row) now. It wasn't pretty but we beat what was in front of us. Tonight let's look at the positives, Australia are going to Brazil!" Australia has now qualified for its fourth-ever World Cup, while South Korea has qualified eight times consecutively and nine times overall. Iran, meanwhile, is making its fourth appearance, having qualified for the first time since 1998.