Australia end Saudi hopes

Australia end Saudi hopes

Australia scored three goals in four minutes in a stunning second-half burst to beat Saudi Arabia 4-2 on Wednesday to dash their hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Saudis took a 2-1 lead in the Group D clash at the AAMI stadium with first-half efforts from midfielder Salem Aldawsari and striker Nassir Al Shamrani. The group winners then hit back in spectacular fashion with goals from Harry Kewell (73rd minute), Alex Brosque (75th) and Brett Emerton (76th) as they ended up with 15 points from six games.

The Saudis’ defeat meant Oman (eight points) went through thanks to a 2-0 win over Thailand on Wednesday.

South Korea advance

South Korea squeezed into the fourth round after overcoming a sluggish start to beat Kuwait 2-0 in Seoul on Wednesday.

Kuwait hit the post before Lee Dong-gook opened the scoring for South Korea in the 64th minute. Lee Keun-ho then doubled the advantage six minutes later in new coach Choi Kang-hee's first competitive game in charge.

The win also meant that Lebanon reached the fourth round as group runners-up despite a 2-4 loss away to United Arab Emirates.

Uzbeks stun Japan

Uzbekistan finished six points clear at the top of Group C qualifying after defeating Asian champions Japan 1-0 in Toyota, thanks to Aleksander Shadrin’s 54th minute strike. Both teams had already qualified for the final round of qualifiers. The draw for the final round takes place on March 9.