• FT

    North Korea

    0

    Iran

    0

  • FT

    Uzbekistan

    0

    Japan

    1

  • FT

    Qatar

    0

    Australia

    0

  • FT

    UAE

    0

    South Korea

    2

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING - AFC

Kim II-Sung Stadium

Referee: Baojie Sun | Attendance: 100000

* Local time based on your geographic location.

0 - 0

FT

Iran

  • Hadi Aghili 56'

N Korea 0-0 Iran: Point not good enough

North Korea spurned their chance of earning an early play-off place for next year's World Cup finals in South Africa when they were held to a goalless draw

with Iran on Saturday.

The draw was also a blow to three-times qualifiers Iran, who

needed three points and now face an uphill struggle to reach the

tournament.

Playing before an impassioned crowed in Pyongyang, North

Korea, second in Group Two behind rivals South Korea, were

outclassed in the first half by a determined Iran side.

Vahid Hashemian could have put the visitors ahead four

minutes into the match when he shot on the turn and drew a good

save from Ri Myong-guk.

After prolonged spells of dangerous Iranian attacks,

Hashemian came close again on 40 minutes when his half-volley

from eight metres after Ali Karimi's perfect cross went just

wide of the post.

Chasing three points to secure at least a playoffs berth

with one game to play, North Korea perked up after the break and

pressured the Iranians throughout.

The talented Jong Tae-se was a constant menace and had a

superb long-range effort turned away by the Iranian keeper on 77

minutes.

Moments later, Iran could have sealed the win when Hosein

Kaebi intercepted a poor pass on the edge of the area, skipped

around the defence and fired a weak shot wide of the target.

The hosts responded to the roaring crowd in the final

minutes and should have sealed the win in stoppage time.

Hong Yong-jo found himself alone in space 35 metres away

from goal but blasted the ball hopelessly wide of the target

after he was panicked by the advancing keeper.

Jong could also have taken the points in the dying seconds

when his close-range header went over the bar.

North Korea, who last reached the World Cup in 1966, are

second on 11 points while Iran remain fourth, on seven.

The top two teams advance to South Africa, while the

third-placed side gets a chance to progress via playoffs.