Kiwis book WC berth

Kiwis book WC berth

Goalkeeper Mark Paston saved a second-half penalty to preserve New Zealand's lead in the second leg of the Asia/Oceania World Cup qualifier after the first leg in Manama had ended 0-0 last month.

New Zealand, champions of the Oceania zone, had their only previous World Cup appearance in Spain in 1982.

Fallon, whose father Kevin was assistant manager of the 1982 side, sealed their ticket to next year's finals in South Africa when he powered home Leo Bertos's corner in the final minute of the first half at a sold-out Westpac Stadium.

Bahrain needed only a score draw to qualify and were celebrating in front of their small group of vocal fans when Abdulla Omar was brought down in the box by Tony Lochhead for a penalty.

However, Sayed Adnan's weak effort was easily saved by Paston to the delight of most in the 35,194 crowd.

New Zealand's Shane Smeltz had an opportunity to kill the game off in the 70th minute when he was put through by Bertos, but his deft flick went just wide.

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