Iran and South Korea qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

South Korea lost but still progressed to next summer's tournament

Iran produced a resolute defensive display to snatch a 1-0 away win over South Korea today and qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Despite the defeat, the Koreans also qualified for the finals after they edged Uzbekistan - 5-1 winners over Qatar on Tuesday - for the runners-up spot on goal difference.

Forward Reza Ghoochannejhad was Iran's hero, latching on to an error by defender Kim Young-gwon to score the winner in the 60th minute with the visitors' only real chance of a one-sided match in Ulsan.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz punched the air in delight at the final whistle after their third qualifying win in June sealed a fourth finals appearance.

The under-pressure Portuguese had traded verbal volleys before Tuesday's Group A clash with Korean counterpart Choi Kang-Hee, who had vowed to beat Iran and force them to watch the World Cup on television after being "badly treated" in the reverse fixture in Tehran last year.

Choi's side showed the same intent by making a fast start at the Ulsan Football Stadium, with lanky striker Kim Shin-wook going close to giving them a fifth-minute lead, but his volley flew just over the bar.

Kim was part of an attacking lineup employed by Choi with Son Heung-min, Lee Dong-gook and Ji Dong-won all starting, but the home side were guilty of using too many long balls for the tall striker rather than mixing up their play.

Iran knew a draw was likely to be enough to qualify unless Uzbekistan could score a four-goal win over Qatar, so they chose to sit back and allow Korea plenty of possession. But the home side failed to create many chances.

The Koreans had a strong appeal for a penalty five minutes before halftime, when midfielder Lee Myung-joo raced clear only to be brought down by Iran fullback Khosro Heydari and goalkeeper Rahman Ahmadi, but the referee awarded a goal kick.

Korea were sluggish at the start of the second half, and Iran grew in confidence before taking a shock lead.

Korea defender Kim Young-gwon missed his kick as he attempted a back-pass to his keeper, and Ghoochannejhad raced through to curl home a left-foot shot.

Choi introduced AFC player of the year Lee Keun-ho as the hosts searched for an equaliser against an Iran team that had conceded just two goals in their previous seven qualifiers.

Kim Young-gwon came close to making up for his error when he fired a sharp shot in the 76th minute that was well saved by Ahmadi, while his glancing header two minutes from time sailed just wide.

Substitute Lee had half the stadium on their feet thinking he had scored a 94th-minute leveller but his header edged past the far post with Ahmadi motionless.

While the Iranians celebrated, the Korean players waited for news of Uzbekistan, who cruised past Qatar 5-1 but ultimately fell two goals short of overhauling Korea on goal difference, allowing them to rejoice at a ninth World Cup finals appearance.

Reuters

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Life and Style
tech
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
Extras
indybest
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor