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South Korea, Saudia Arabia qualify for World Cup; Syria earn Australia playoff

South Korea become the third team from Asia to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, joining Iran and Japan.

South Korea booked their place at a ninth straight World Cup finals on Tuesday evening as a 0-0 draw with Uzbekistan was enough for Shin Tae-yong and his team to book their ticket for Russia while Saudi Arabia's 1-0 win over Japan condemned Australia to a place in the playoffs.

Fahad Al Muwallad's thunderbolt of a strike ensured the Saudis will go to the World Cup for the first time since 2006, joining Japan, South Korea and Iran as Asia's representatives at next year's tournament.

Australia, meanwhile,...

 By John Duerden

Ki Sung-Yueng 'fit' but may not start in World Cup qualifier for South Korea

Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson discuss Son Heung-Min and Ki Sung-Yeung's call-ups for South Korea and their race to be fit.

Ahead of South Korea's crucial 2018 AFC World Cup qualifier in Uzbekistan on Tuesday, head coach Shin Tae-Yong has a dilemma: whether to start captain Ki Sung-Yueng.

The talented Swansea City midfielder has not played since injuring his knee during a 3-2 loss in Qatar in June. The 28 year-old may be fit again, but Shin is concerned about his lack of match practice.

Ki did not even make the bench in last Thursday's 0-0 draw with Iran in Seoul. He watched from the sidelines as his teammates missed...

Iran win to become first Asian nation to qualify for World Cup

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UzbekistanUzbekistan
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Serdar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi scored in each half to punch Iran's ticket to the 2018 World Cup.

Goals from Sardar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi and yet another clean sheet ensured Iran became the first Asian nation to book their place at next year's World Cup as a 2-0 win over Uzbekistan on Monday evening secured Carlos Queiroz's team a berth in Russia.

Azmoun put his side in the lead in the 23rd minute before a goal from Taremi sealed Iran's progress to next year's finals two minutes from time.

The Iranians join Brazil as the only nations to have qualified for Russia 2018 so far, with Azmoun scoring...