2014 World Cup Qualifiers Asia (18/6/2013)
June 17, 2013 by Kimi Nguyen on FIFA World Cup 2014
Skipper Lucas Neill says his Australian squad’s full focus is on beating Iraq in their last Asian qualifier to guarantee direct entry to next year’s World Cup, so the Socceroos aren’t practicing the samba yet. But the Australians will have more than 80,000 supporters expected to pack the 2000 Sydney Olympics stadium.
Australia qualified for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and is only one victory away from ensuring it three in a row.
Iraq’s qualifying hopes ended last week in a defeat to already-qualified Japan in Doha. A win for Australia is in favor.
Uzbekistan need a win with big difference, to secure their straight qualification, otherwise the team will play play-offs. Qatar will be playing to win when they face hosts Uzbekistan tomorrow, team coach Fahad Thani said.
However, Qatar has missed out on the chance to gain a spot in next year’s FIFA World Cup after they lost 1-0 to Iran in Doha – no objective in this match.
Uzbekistan recorded 3 straight wins against Qatar, without conceding a goal.
South Korea’s promise to “make life painful” for Iran have sharply raised the stakes before Tuesday’s clash between the Asian giants. The dispute follows South Korean accusations of ill-treatment during their visit to Tehran last October including visa problems and poor training facilities. In a feisty encounter, South Korea lost 1-0.
South Korea, who lead Group A by a point, need only a draw to reach Brazil 2014 but victory for Iran would guarantee their fourth World Cup finals appearance. Iran only need a draw to secure an automatic spot.
However, if Australia get at least a point, this is an early play-off for both sides. Oman is unbeaten lately, 5W 2D for last 7 games. Meanwhile, Jordan is fortified at home – having beaten Japan and Australia 2-1 in the previous fixtures. Oman will have to break things early in order to secure a point.