South Korea beat Kuwait to advance with underdogs Lebanon

    South Korea's players celebrate Lee Keun-Ho's goal in the 2-0 win over Kuwait in Seoul.

    Story highlights

    • South Korea seal place in next round of Asia World Cup qualifying
    • Victory over Kuwait leaves minnows Lebanon in second qualifying spot
    • Australia end Saudi Arabia's hopes as Oman qualify behind Socceroos
    • Uzbekistan beat Japan to top their qualifying section
    South Korea beat Kuwait 2-0 Wednesday to seal their place in the final stage of Asia World Cup qualifying as Group B winners.
    Their victory also meant Lebanon qualified in second place, despite a 4-2 defeat against the United Arab Emirates.
    Kuwait went into the match in Seoul needing a win to leapfrog Lebanon, while a draw would have been enough for 2002 World Cup semifinalists Korea.
    Kuwait gave the home side some scares in the first half and goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong had to be at his best.
    But after the break it was the Koreans who dominated as Lee Dong-Gook broke the deadlock in the 65th minute.
    Lee Keun-Ho rounded off the scoring five minutes later to seal the victory.
    Lebanon had shocked South Korea 2-1 back in November to boost their hopes of going through, but were unable to repeat their heroics against the UAE.
    Goalkeeping and defensive errors undermined their performance, but with Kuwait losing they go into the draw in Kuala Lumpur on March 9.
    Aleksandr Shadrin scored the only goal as Uzbekistan beat Japan 1-0 to top Group C.
    Shadrin netted in the 54th minute as Japan slumped to their second defeat in the section to leave them six points adrift of Uzbekistan in the final standings.
    "We should have scored in the first half when we had several chances. Uzbekistan took the offensive in the second half and we couldn't play our game," Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni told AFP.
    Another disappointed coach was Dutchman Frank Rijkaard after his Saudi Arabia side failed to progress.
    The Saudis led Australia 2-1 at the break but leaked three goals in five second half minutes to lost 4-2.
    Alex Brosque with a double, Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton scored for the Socceroos who top Group D.
    But Oman's Hussain Al Hadri and Abdul Aziz Mubarak scored to give them a 2-0 home win over Thailand and claim the second qualification spot in the group.
    It will be the second straight World Cup the Saudis have failed to qualify after making four in a row from 1994 to 2006 and leaves former Barcelona coach Rijkaard with an uncertain future.
    In Group E, Bahrain routed Indonesia 10-0, but their efforts were in vain as Mohammed Kasola's scored a late equalizer for Qatar in a 2-2 draw in Iran to go through at the Bahrainis expense.