FOOTBALL NEWS

17/06/2009 15:30, Report by Adam Bostock

Park makes point for Korea

Ji-sung Park ensured an unbeaten run to the 2010 World Cup for Korea Republic on Wednesday, when he scored a late equaliser against Iran in Seoul.



The United midfielder was staring a first qualifying loss in the face until the 81st minute when he received a pass Lee Keun-ho and fired home a stunning left-foot shot. Park's effort cancelled out Masoud Shojaei's opener for the visitors 30 minutes previously.

The South Koreans had already qualified but they'll no doubt take pride from avoiding defeat in their eight-game campaign. Skippered by Park, they posted four wins and four draws in progressing from Asia Group 2 to their seventh consecutive World Cup finals.

Australia and Japan were also through to the finals prior to their meeting on Wednesday, having finished first and second respectively in Group 1. Everton's Tim Cahill scored both goals in the Socceroos' 2-1 victory.

Later in the day they were joined by North Korea as the fourth confirmed qualifier from Asia, following their 0-0 draw away to Saudi Arabia in Group 2.

The latter will now face Bahrain for the right to contest a World Cup finals berth with New Zealand, winners of the Oceanian qualifying tournament.

The only other countries definitely playing in South Africa 2010 are the host nation plus Europe's trailblazers, Holland, for whom Edwin van der Sar made two qualifying appearances after briefly coming out of international retirement.

The Dutch are 14 points clear of Darren Fletcher's Scotland in Group 9 and have a 100 per cent record to date, as have England and Spain who look set to qualify in September.

OFFICIAL SPONSORS