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Socceroos edge South Korea in battle for top group spot at Asian Cup

Mile Jedinak jumps for joy after following up his equalizer against South Korea with Australia's winner over Bahrain.
Mile Jedinak jumps for joy after following up his equalizer against South Korea with Australia's winner over Bahrain.
  • Australia win battle for first place in Group C following 1-0 victory over Bahrain
  • South Korea finish second following 4-1 victory over bottom nation India
  • Koreans face quarterfinal against Qatar while Socceroos play Group D runners-up
  • Jordan striker Oday Al Saify will miss the rest of the tournament due to injury
  • Australia
  • South Korea
  • Bahrain
  • India
  • Soccer

(CNN) -- Australia and South Korea claimed quarterfinal places at the 2011 Asian Cup with victories in Tuesday's final round of Group C matches in Qatar.

Australia edged top spot on goal difference after beating Bahrain 1-0, while fellow 2010 World Cup finals qualifiers South Korea won 4-1 against India.

That means the Koreans are set to face three-time champions Iran in the last eight, while Australia will play the Group D runners-up -- which will likely be titleholders Iraq or North Korea. The United Arab Emirates face unbeaten Iran in the other game on Wednesday.

The Socceroos, who defeated bottom nation India 4-0 first up before drawing 1-1 with two-time winners Korea, needed just a point against Bahrain to progress in a game played in steady rain at Doha's Al Sadd Stadium.

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Midfielder Mile Jedinak scored the winning goal eight minutes before halftime with his second in as many matches following his equalizer against the Koreans.

The 26-year-old, who plays for Turkish club Genclerbirligi, fired home from long range -- and then tested goalkeeper Mahmood Mansoor soon after.

The Socceroos should have doubled their lead in the 52nd minute but midfielder Tim Cahill headed wide with the goal at his mercy after Harry Kewell beat the offside trap.

Australia's veteran keeper Mark Schwarzer made two crucial second-half saves from Bahrain striker Ismaeel Abdulatif, who scored four times in Bahrain's 5-2 win over India on Friday.

South Korea scored seven goals to Australia's six, but conceded three to their rivals' one -- meaning Sunil Chhetri's first-half penalty for India proved crucial.

The Koreans led 2-0 inside the first 10 minutes in the sodden conditions at Al-Gharafa Stadium as Ji Dong-won scored the first of his two goals with a header after keeper Paul Subrata failed to deal with Lee Chung-yong's cross.

The striker then headed into the path of Koo Ja-cheol following a cross by Cha Du-ri, and his forward partner doubled the lead.

Chhetri gave India hope in the 12th minute after he was fouled by Kwak Tae-hwi, but Ji made it 3-1 on 23 after Koo set him up inside the area.

The Koreans were then frustrated in their bid for more goals as several chances were squandered and efforts by Kwak, Ji and Hwang Jae-won were cleared off the line.

Substitute Son Heung-min hit the post in the 64th minute but finally made it 4-1 with nine to play with a fierce shot that went in off the underside of the bar -- but the midfielder saw another effort rebound off the woodwork.

Meanwhile, Jordan will be without Oday Al Saify for the rest of the tournament after the striker injured his hamstring in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Syria.

The 24-year-old, the only Europe-based player in Jordan's squad, will be ruled out for four weeks according to the tournament's website.

Al Saify, who scored the winning goal against Syria to set up a quarterfinal clash with Uzbekistan on Friday, joins Hatem Aqel, Anas Bani Yaseen and the suspended Basem Fathi on the sidelines.

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