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).