Asian World Cup Qualification

18th July 2009 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Previews & Predictions
World Cup Previews & Predictions

Asia

 

Qualified Teams

 

Group 1: Australia, Japan

Group 2: South Korea, North Korea

 

Qualification Play-off

 

05/09/2009 – Bahrain V Saudi Arabia
09/09/2009 – Saudi Arabia V Bahrain

 

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia will compete in a two-legged play-off, with the winner advancing to face New Zealand for a place at South Africa 2010.

 

Saudi Arabia will be the bookies favourite in this two-legged play-off for several reasons. They have an obvious World Cup pedigree after qualifying for the previous four World Cup’s. They also notched up more points in what was a tougher group. Bahrain also failed to beat Japan and Australia in Group 1 who were the only decent sides in that group. However, Saudi Arabia’s results were hardly impressive either with draws being their more common final result.

 

This should be a close affair over two legs but if one side can manage to secure a good result away from home, they would become to obvious favourite to progress further and play New Zealand in a World Cup qualification showdown.

 

Group 1

 

Australia cruised to qualification in group 1 and remained unbeaten throughout. They finished with 20 points from a maximum of 24 which is an outstanding feat and one that should leave the players full of confidence as they prepare to do battle at South Africa next year. Qatar and Japan were the only sides to have taken points away from the Australians with both games being away from Australian soil. The ‘Aussies’ won all four of their home fixtures and sealed qualification with several games to spare.

 

Japan nailed down a second place finish and can now look ahead to next year in Africa. They finished five points ahead of third place Bahrain, who will now have to play a play-off match with Saudi Arabia for the one remaining qualification spot. Bahrain had to hold off the competition of Qatar and Uzbekistan for that play-off spot but did so with ease in the end, finishing four points above Qatar who ended the campaign in fourth, one place shy of the play-off’s.

 

Group 2

 

The second group was a lot closer to call with no side really dominating the group. Despite a faltering end to the campaign, South Korea did finish the group as top dog with 16 points. They were four points clear of rivals North Korea who scraped into the final automatic qualification spot via goal difference.

 

Every side took points off one another at one stage or another and this showed in the final point tallies. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran narrowly missed out on that final automatic spot with Saudi Arabia losing out on virtue of goal difference and Iran were a point short of both. However, the big difference is that Saudi Arabia did just enough to book a play-off showdown with Bahrain. Iran will now go home empty handed although at least they faired a lot better then the United Arab Emirates who finished the group in fifth with just the solitary point to their name.

 




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