UAE win sets up World Cup qualifying playoff vs. Australia

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates beat South Korea 1-0 on Tuesday to advance to a World Cup qualifying playoff against Australia in June.

The winner of UAE vs. Australia will progress to a playoff final against a team from South America for a ticket to Qatar.

Harib Abdalla scored early in the second half for UAE, which is searching for its second World Cup appearance after its 1990 debut.

Heading into the final round of matches, Iran, South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia had already clinched the automatic qualification spots.

South Korea, preparing for its 11th appearance, dominated possession but could not find the target despite hitting the woodwork twice and taking 16 corners.

Earlier, Iran defeated Lebanon 2-0 to finish atop Group A ahead of South Korea.

Japan and Vietnam drew 1-1 at Saitama Stadium. Japan reached its seventh straight World Cup by topping Group B with Saudi Arabia in second place.

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