Iran players in show of support for Moussavi

June 17th, 2009 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, June 17 (DPA) Several Iran players wore green armbands in a show of support for opposition leader Mir-Hossein Moussavi in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Seoul Wednesday.
In a match shown on television in Tehran, Iran fought out a 1-1 draw to leave their hopes of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup hanging in the balance.

The draw against already-qualified South Korea in Asia Group 2 means Iran can only hope for a play-off place and may be eliminated if Saudi Arabia and North Korea draw in a game later in the day.

Some but not all of the Iran players wore arm and wristbands in green, the campaign colour of Moussavi and his supporters in rallies in Tehran before and after last week’s presidential election.

The Iranians took the lead courtesy of an own goal by Kim Dong Jin in the 51st minute but South Korea levelled through Park Ji Sung nine minutes from time.

Iran finish the campaign on 11 points, five points behind group winners South Korea, and level on 11 points with North Korea and Saudi Arabia who are playing later in Riyadh.

In Melbourne, Australia came from a goal down to beat Japan 2-1 and top Asian Group 1.

Tim Cahill scored twice in the 59th and 77th minutes to cancel out Tulio Tanaka’s header in the 40th minute at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Japan had the run of play in the first half, with Keiji Tamada close to taking a two-goal lead into half time.

Schwarzer had gone 710 minutes without conceding a goal before Tanaka slotted home. The conceded goal added pep to an Australian side that dominated in the second half.

Both teams have already qualified for next year’s finals. Bahrain were meeting Uzbekistan in Manama later in a match which will decide which teams goes into the play-off as third in the group.

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