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North Korea holds Iran in a crucial World Cup qualifier

PYONGYANG, North Korea, June 6 (Mehr News Agency) -- North Korea and Iran played out a goalless draw in Group B of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers on Saturday at the Yanggakdo Stadium in Pyongyang.

The visitors were close to score goals against the hosts at two occasions in the first half but failed narrowly. Osasuna midfielder Masoud Shojaei hit the bar five minutes into the match. Iran could have scored in the 41st minute once again by Hashemian whose volley narrowly wide of the target.

The North Koreans failed to take advantage of their chances after the break. Iran's goalkeeper Seyed Mehdi Rahmati made some extremely good saves to deny Hong Yong-jo and Pak Nam-chol.

Left-footed Mehrzad Madanchi, who came on in the 72nd minute for the injured Mohsen Khalili, fired a strong shot from 35 meters that Ri Myong-guk, North Korean keeper, punched it out.

The hosts could have beaten Iran in the injury times but Hong failed to open the Iran's empty net.

The North Koreans moved up to 11 points, while Iran remains fourth with seven points with only two matches remaining. Iran need to win their last two games against the UAE and South Korea to maintain their hopes of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

... Payvand News - 06/06/09 ... --

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