Kuwait, Saudi Arabia draw in Asia World Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/F/Football.jpg' class='caption'> Saudi Arabia missed out on the chance to gain top spot in Asian World Cup qualifying Group A after they were held to a goalless draw by Kuwait.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:51 IST
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Kuwait City, Asian World Cup, Kuwait:

Having upset South Korea in their previous match, Saudi Arabia were looking to carry forward their winning form against Kuwait on Wednesday. The two teams met in the Group A clash in the Asian World Cup qualifiers at the Friendship and Peace Stadium in Kuwait City. With one win and a draw to their name heading into the game, Saudi Arabia knew that a victory against Kuwait would put them top of the group. But the hosts, playing in blue jerseys, were on a high as they had beaten Uzbekistan in their last outing. Both teams disappointed in a dull first half that was peppered with long range attempts. Tough fight Kuwait came close with one such effort in the 18th minute when Walled Jumah tested the Saudi goalkeeper with a powerful low shot. The stalemate continued in the second half with goal-scoring opportunities at a premium. But in the closing stages Saudi Arabia pressed with confidence and came close twice through their midfielder Khaled Al Thaker. In the 84th minute, Khaled dashed down the left flank and fired in a blistering drive from about 25 yards, but narrowly missed the mark. Saudi Arabia created the best chance of the game in the 88th minute. A neatly created move ended with Khaled on the edge of the penalty area with plenty of time. With no defenders nearby, Khaled somehow managed to shoot over the crossbar. The game ended in a goalless draw with the teams sharing the points. The draw left Saudi Arabia in second place in the Group standings A with five points - a point behind leaders South Korea - after three matches. Kuwait are in third place with four points, while Uzbekistan lie fourth with just a single point. (AP)

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