Qatar, Iran advance after World Cup qualifier draw

Mohammed Kasola scored an 83rd-minute equalizer to send Qatar
through to the final stage of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup
with a 2-2 draw against Iran.

Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host, was facing elimination when it
trailed 2-1 but Kasola’s goal meant his team went through at the
expense of Bahrain, which won 10-0 against last-place
Indonesia.

Iran, which had already guaranteed its progress, went ahead
through Ashkan Dejagah’s 4th-minute header before Khalfan Ibrahim
equalized in the 9th from the penalty spot. Dejagah restored the
hosts’ lead with a free-kick in the 50th.

Iran topped Group E with 12 points followed by Qatar with 10.
Bahrain, which finished third with nine points after beating
Indonesia 10-0, needed Qatar to lose and to turn around a goal
difference of nine.

Qatar going through is significant with the Gulf nation trying
to improve its football status ahead of hosting the 2022 World
Cup.

After crashing out in the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup last
year, Qatar’s 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign has been a rocky
affair. The only wins came against lowly Indonesia, the 96th-ranked
team drawing twice against Gulf rival Bahrain, scoring no goals in
either match.

As a result, the team has gone through four coaches since the
Asian Cup. Earlier this month, Qatar hired Paulo Autuori of Brazil
with the match against Iran his first big test.

Autuori was recently the coach of the Qatar Olympic team. He has
also coached the Peru national team and several clubs in Brazil.
Among them is Sao Paulo, which he guided to the 2005 Club World
Cup. He also has coached several Qatari sides.

Lineups:

Iran: Mahdi Rahmati, Khosrow Heidari (Hossein Mahini, 85), Hadi
Aghili, Jalal Hosseini, Mehrdad Pouladi, Javad Nekounam, Ali
Karimi, Pejman Nouri, Mohammad Reza Khalatbari (Mohammad Nori, 66),
Mohammad Ghazi (Karim Ansari, 72, Ashkan Dejagah.

Qatar: Qasem Burhan, Meshal Abdullah Mubarak Budawood, Ibrahim
al-Ghanim, Mesaad Ali al-Hamad, Mohammed Kasola, Anas Mubarak,
Ibrahim Khalfan (Mohammed RAZA, 75), Wesam Rizik Abdulmajid, Talal
al-Bloushi (Fabio Montesin, 78), Sebastian Soria, Yousef Ahmed Ali
(Hasan al-Haydos, 62).