Saudi Arabia 2-2 Bahrain (2-2 agg.): Reds One Step Away From World Cup As Saudis Crash Out

Bahrain

Bahrain scored in the last minute of stoppage time to beat Saudi Arabia on the away goals rule in their Asian World Cup playoff on Wednesday.

Bahrain advanced to a final playoff against Oceania champions New Zealand after substitute Ismaeel Latif’s last-gasp goal secured a 2-2 draw following their scoreless draw in Manama at the weekend.

Saudi Arabia took an early lead when Nassir Al Shamrani scored in the 13th minute but Bahrain equalised just before halftime through their Nigerian-born striker Jaycee John.

The Saudis, who were bidding for their fifth straight appearance in the World Cup finals, looked to have stolen the match when Hamad Al Montashari scored in the first minute of stoppage time only for their Gulf neighbours to find a second equaliser.

Bahrain will play New Zealand over two legs in October and November with the winner qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

Bahrain are bidding to qualify for the first time after losing a playoff to Trinidad & Tobago four years ago.

They were given a second chance to progress this time after finishing third in their Asian qualifying group behind Australia and Japan, who qualified automatically.

Saudi Arabia finished third in their group behind North and South Korea, who also qualified from Asia.

Reuters

~ by footballdirecta on September 10, 2009.

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