Source Press TV
A stoppage time equalizer has helped Iran tie a Group E match against Bahrain in the third round of Asia qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Iranian players cheer after scoring a goal (file photo from first round game)
Team Melli snatched a 1-1 draw against Bahrain at Bahrain National Stadium in Manama on Friday to solidify its foothold atop Group E of the Asian World Cup qualifiers.
Mahmood Mirza Al Ajami opened the scoring for Bahrain on the stroke of halftime to send the home fans into delirium and boost their hopes for a precious three points.
The Iranian squad canceled out Bahrain's lead when Mojtaba Jabbari latched on to a ball which had deflected off the crossbar on a free kick and fired home in the third minute of injury time to dent the hosts' hopes to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time.
Following the draw, Iran, who hammered Bahrain 6-0 in the first leg in Tehran exactly a month ago, tops Group E with eight points from four matches, while Bahrain stayed third on five points after Qatar, which thrashed Indonesia 4-0 in the day's other group game.
In the other matches of the day, Iraq edged past China 1-0 while Jordan claimed a 2-0 win over Singapore in Group A; South Korea earned a hard fought 2-0 victory over the UAE and Lebanon defeated Kuwait in Group B; unbeaten Japan brushed aside Tajikistan 4-0 while Uzbekistan secured a 1-0 victory over North Korea in Group C; and Group D saw Oman beat Australia 1-0 and Saudi Arabia blanked Thailand 3-0.
Iran is scheduled to take on Indonesia in Jakarta on November 15 while Qatar and Bahrain will clash in Doha.
The Iranians can book a place in the fourth round of the qualifiers on the next match day if they defeat Indonesia and Qatar do not lose to Bahrain or if they draw with Indonesia and Qatar defeats Bahrain.
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