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Photos: Iran, South Korea tie in World Cup qualifier

Photos by Rooholla Vahdati, ISNA

Iran's World Cup hopes wither

Six members of the Iranian football team have worn green armbands during a World Cup qualifying match against South Korea in Seoul.
The players wore the colour adopted by the opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in an apparent show of support. He challenging the presidential election last week, in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected. Most of the players had removed the bands in the second half. - (source BBC)

SEOUL, South Korea, June 17 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran missed a good opportunity for a second automatic qualification spot after it was held to a 1-1 draw against South Korea on Wednesday.

In the match held at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, Masoud Shojaei put the Persians in the lead in the 51st minute. Mohammad Nosrati sent a ball into South Korea's box and Lee Woon-jae failed to clear it and the ball went into the empty net after collision with Shojaei's body.

The Korean put Iran under pressure in the second half and created many opportunities which were squandered by their players. Manchester United player Park Ji-sung poured cold water on the Iranian's hopes. He opened Seyed Mehdi Ramati's goal from close range with nine minutes remaining.

The third-place team in the group will go to a playoff with the third-place team in Group A for the right to play Oceania champion New Zealand for a spot at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Iran is level on points in Asian qualifying Group B with North Korea and Saudi Arabia, who meet late on Wednesday. If that match is a draw or Saudi Arabia wins, Iran is eliminated. If North Korea wins, Iran will get a further playoff.

... Payvand News - 06/18/09 ... --

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