Masoud Shojaei's goal fails to prevent Iran from suffering a 2-1 home defeat
against Saudi Arabia in its fifth World Cup qualifier.
Iran was the dominant side in the first half but about 100,000 fans at Tehran's Azadi Stadium had to wait until the 57th minute when the Osasuna midfielder netted the ball sent by Mohammad Khal'atbari from behind the penalty area.
The Iranian squad quickly went on the defensive after the goal, giving Saudi Arabia more dominance over the game.
The Saudis started a late fight-back to reverse the defeat with a 2-1 win and revive their sinking World Cup qualifying campaign.
Naif Hazazi equalized the match in the 78th minute, eight minutes before Osama al-Harbi gave Ali Daei's squad their final shock.
The victory sent Saudi Arabia to third place in Group B with seven points, three points behind North Korea, which beat the United Arab Emirates 2-0 earlier on Saturday to claim top spot.
South Korea, which is in second place with eight points out of four matches, will host North Korea on Wednesday. Iran is fourth with six points out of five matches.
Asian World Cup qualifiers results:
Japan 2, Bahrain 0
Uzbekistan 4, Qatar 0
North Korea 2, UAE o
Iran 1, Saudi Arabia 2
... Payvand News - 03/28/09 ... --