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Saudi Arabia draw South Korea in WC qualifier
SEOUL, Jun 10 (Agencies):
Published on 11 Jun. 2009 12:25 AM IST
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Saudi Arabia will need to win their final match to qualify for the 2010 World Cup after being held to a goalless draw by South Korea. The South Koreans, who sealed their qualification for a seventh consecutive World Cup last weekend, had the better of the opportunities at Seoul World Cup Stadium. But they could not manage the breakthrough against the visitors, who played the final 11 minutes with 10 men following the dismissal of Ahmed Ateef. The Saudis face North Korea in Riyadh next Wednesday needing a win to secure their World Cup berth. The first half was largely uneventful but the visitors threatened in the 13th minute when Nassir Al Shamrani’s shot on the turn was well saved by Lee Woon-jae. The home side went close to breaking the deadlock just before the break as Saudi goalkeeper Waleed Ali was called into action to keep out a half-volley by Ki Sung-yung and a low shot by Lee Keun-ho. The Koreans almost took the lead 10 minutes after the break as Kim Dong-jin’s first-time cross picked out Park Chu-young, who headed just over. While the hosts had the upper hand, Saudi Arabia almost opened the scoring on the hour when Mohammed Noor’s pass released Al Shamrani whose shot from just inside the area was turned over by Lee Woon-jae. Yasser Al Qahtani then turned Cho Yong-hyong in box before firing in a shot that flew just past the far post. Substitute Yang Dong-hyun came off the bench and almost made an immediate impact in the 74th minute when he headed a corner straight at the Saudi goalkeeper from close range. With 11 minutes left, Ahmed Ateef chopped down Lee Keun-ho to pick up his second yellow card but the home side failed to make the man advantage count. And they were almost caught out in the dying seconds when Saudi substitute Naif Hazazi headed just over from close range.

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