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Saudi Arabia qualification still in balance

  • Story Highlights
  • Saudi Arabia draw 0-0 in South Korea in Asia Group Two World Cup qualifying
  • Saudis will need to defeat North Korea in their final match to seal qualification
  • Australia defeat Bahrain 2-0 to continue record of not having conceded a goal
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(CNN) -- Saudi Arabia missed out on an opportunity to move into pole position to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, after drawing 0-0 at already qualified South Korea in Asian Group Two.

Saudi players celebrate their hard-earned point in the 0-0 draw against South Korea.

Saudi players celebrate their hard-earned point in the 0-0 draw against South Korea.

The hosts have already qualified for the finals with 15 points from their seven matches and the draw means Saudi Arabia go into their final match in third position in the table, level on 11 points with North Korea whom they entertain in the final group matches next week.

Whoever wins that match in Riyadh will qualify for the finals. However, if the match ends in a draw, Iran -- who beat the United Arab Emirates 1-0 in Tehran on Wednesday -- can qualify with an unlikely victory over South Korea in Seoul.

Saudi Arabia coach Jose Peseiro told reporters that he was happy with the result. "South Korea played a better game but we fought hard for our one point," Peseiro said.

"We'll go back to Riyadh, get our three points there and qualify for the World Cup."

Asian Group One is far less complicated with Australia and Japan already securing their places in South Africa, with only the honor of who finishes top of the table still to be decided.

Australia continue to head the group on 17 points and they maintained their unbeaten group status with a 2-0 victory over Bahrain in Sydney.

Mile Sterjovski broke the deadlock in the 55th minute after he punished a defensive error inside the six-yard box.

David Carney doubled the lead with two minutes remaining after Jason Culina's spectacular overhead-kick ricocheted off an upright for Carney to ram the ball home.

The result also continues the Socceroos' remarkable run of not having conceded a goal in their seven qualifying matches so far.

Meanwhile, Japan dropped two home points in Yokohama after being held to a 1-1 draw by Qatar. The result means Japan are now two points behind Australia ahead of their clash in Melbourne next week.

A Japan victory means they will qualify as group winners but any other result will mean Australia finish on top of the group.

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