Iran is held to a 1-1 home draw against South Korea to drop to the third place in Group B of World Cup qualifiers after North Korea beat Saudi Arabia.
The South Korean squad lined up against Ali Daei's men, under pressure of the attendance of about 80,000 at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Wednesday.
Both sides started the game with caution, playing the ball mostly in the center to finish the first half in a goalless draw.
The breakthrough came in the 60th minute, when Osasuna's Javad Nekounam scored for Iran with a brilliant free-kick, which lead him to be named the man of the match.
South Korea equalized nine minutes from time, when a free-kick was blocked by Iran's goalkeeper Mehdi Rahmati, only for Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung to net the ball with a header.
This is while Daei had earlier claimed that the atmosphere at Azadi Stadium would mesmerize South Koreans, resulting in a humiliating defeat for Huh Jung-Moo's side.
"Even Park Ji-sung, with his high level of experience, will face a different kind of atmosphere in Azadi," he had said on Monday.
South Korea retained its top position with eight points despite the draw, while North Korea celebrated a sweet 1-0 home victory over Saudi Arabia to move to the second place with seven points.
Iran dropped to the third spot with six points, two points clear of Saudi Arabia. The UAE is at the bottom with one point.
... Payvand News - 02/11/09 ... --