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Socceroos deny Koreans at Asian Cup; Abdulatif scores four for Bahrain

Australia's goalscorer Mile Jedinak, right, challenges South Korea midfielder Park Ji-Sung in Friday's 1-1 draw.
Australia's goalscorer Mile Jedinak, right, challenges South Korea midfielder Park Ji-Sung in Friday's 1-1 draw.
  • Australia and South Korea have four points in Group C after 1-1 draw in Qatar
  • Koo Ja-cheol nets his third goal of 2011 Asian Cup before Mile Jedinak equalizes
  • Ismaeel Abdulatif scores four goals as 10-man Bahrain beat India 5-2 in other Group C match
  • Middle East side led 4-2 before Faouzi Aaish, who also netted, was sent off
  • Australia
  • South Korea
  • Bahrain
  • India
  • Soccer

(CNN) -- Australia fought back to earn a 1-1 draw with South Korea on Friday that edged two of the Asian Cup's title favorites towards the quarterfinal stage in Qatar.

The result left both nations on four points from two matches in Group C ahead of the day's other game, which saw 10-man Bahrain get off the mark with a 5-2 victory over India as Ismaeel Abdulatif scored four goals.

South Korea, victors the first two times the tournament was held in 1956 and 1960, took the lead in the 24th minute at Doha's Al Gharafa Stadium through Koo Ja-cheol.

The 21-year-old midfielder scored his third goal of the tournament following his double in Korea's opening 2-1 win over Bahrain, as Ji Dong-won collected a long ball and put the ball into the path of his teammate.

Both sides had several chances to score before Mile Jedinak leveled in the 62nd minute.

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The midfielder, who plays for Turkish club Genclerbirligi, headed home after Korea failed to clear a corner from Luke Wilkshire and Lucas Neill nodded the ball back across the goal.

"We could have won the game. If you look at the general performance of our team, then we should have won," South Korea coach Cho Kwang-Rae told the Asian Cup website.

"We controlled the game mostly so in that aspect we have improved a lot. I am pleased about that and if we can continue to develop that part of our game then it will be much better for us as we move forward."

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The Australians, who like South Korea qualified for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, are seeking a first title after having joined the Asian federation from Oceania in early 2006.

"My team, I'm very happy with their performance. Our game plan was to close them down in midfield and that was mostly achieved," Australia's German coach Holger Osieck. "What I found encouraging was we created a lot of chances."

Abdulatif's quadruple strike boosted Bahrain's hopes of qualifying for the last eight, as the 24-year-old forward scored three times in 19 first-half minutes against India.

Faouzi Aaish, who was sent off for a second booking in the second half, had put Bahrain ahead with an eighth-minute penalty but India leveled through midfielder Gouramangi Singh inside 60 seconds.

Abdulatif then took center stage as he pounced on a mistake by India goalkeeper Subrata Paul in the 16th minute, was set up by Nigeria-born Jaycee John for his second three minutes later and completed his hat-trick 10 minutes before halftime after chesting down a pass from Aaish.

India thought they had reduced the deficit seven minutes after halftime but Renedy Singh's effort was ruled to have not crossed the line after hitting the underside of the crossbar, but Sunil Chhetri immediately made it 4-2 after striker Abhishek Yadav also hit the woodwork.

Aaish, who also scored a penalty against South Korea, had to leave the pitch just past the hour mark after being booked for diving but Abdulatif sealed victory with a superb solo effort with 13 minutes to play.

The final round on Tuesday sees South Korea play India and Australia take on Bahrain.