Saudi, Bahrain made to wait

Both teams contest final matches next week for one automatic berth

Both countries must now contest final matches next week to decide who takes the remaining automatic berth and the two playoff spots.
Bahrain lost 2-0 to a weakened Australian team in Sydney, while the Saudis were held to a goalless draw by South Korea in Seoul.
Elsewhere, already-qualified Japan secured a 1-1 draw with Qatar in Yokohama, with an own goal after three minutes effectively ending the Gulf side's faint hopes of reaching their first finals.
The five teams in contention will now gear up for a thrilling finale on June 17 for the three remaining places. The Saudis are level on 11 points with North Korea, whom they will meet in Riyadh to decide the second automatic place in Group Two.
With Japan and Australia already through, Bahrain must avoid a home defeat by Uzbekistan to gain Group One's playoff place. Australia held their unbeaten record with a second-string team after goals from Mile Sterjovski and David Carney. In Seoul, 10-man Saudi Arabia made no impact in their penultimate game, with South Korea dominating play and Park Ji-sung the provider throughout the game.
Ahmed Ateef was sent off after collecting a second yellow card as the Saudis failed to press ahead and steal a winner to boost their hopes of reaching the finals.

Comments (+)