ULSAN, SOUTH KOREA (REUTERS) - Iran produced a resolute defensive display to snatch a 1-0 away win over South Korea on Tuesday and qualify for the World Cup Finals in Brazil.
Despite the defeat, the Koreans also qualified for the finals after they edged Uzbekistan - 5-1 winners over Qatar on Tuesday - for the runners-up spot on goal difference.
Forward Reza Ghoochannejhad was Iran's hero, latching on to an error by defender Kim Young-gwon to score the winner in the 60th minute with the visitors' only real chance of a one-sided match in Ulsan.
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz punched the air in delight at the final whistle after their third qualifying win in June sealed a fourth Finals appearance.
While the Iranians celebrated, the Korean players waited for news of Uzbekistan, who cruised past Qatar 5-1 but ultimately fell two goals short of overhauling Korea on goal difference, allowing them to rejoice at a ninth World Cup finals appearance.