Koreans, Australians seek home comforts

Korea Republic and Australia will look to put their final round qualifying campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games back on track on Sunday.

Korea Republic U-23 vs Oman U-23

Hong Myung-bo's Korea were forced to come from behind to maintain their unbeaten record in Group A with a 1-1 draw against Qatar on Wednesday, but welcome Saudi Arabia to Seoul World Cup Stadium seeking a second win of the campaign.

2008 qualifiers Australia, meanwhile, face Group B leaders Uzbekistan at Parramatta Stadium in Sydney following back-to-back draws after Wednesday's goalless stalemate against Iraq.

Elsewhere, Group C pacesetters Japan and Syria put their 100% records on the line in Tokyo with only the three group winner's guaranteed a ticket to London next year.

After beginning the final round with a 2-0 home win over Oman, Korea were forced to come from behind against Qatar on Wednesday as Kim Hyun-sung struck midway through the second half in Doha to cancel out Ibrahim Majed's penalty which had put the hosts ahead just before half-time in the Group A clash.

With GCC U-23 champions Oman beating Saudi Arabia 2-0 in Muscat, Korea sit just a point clear at the top of Group A ahead of the Matchday Three meeting in Seoul, with Qatar just a further point off the pace after beginning their campaign with back-to-back draws.

And regional pride will also be up for grabs as Qatar make the short trip to Muscat to face an Oman side looking to build on Wednesday's win over Saudi Arabia, which was secured thanks to goals in each half from Qasim Hardan and Nasser Al Shamali.

Australia, who along with Korea, Japan and hosts China represented Asia in Beijing three years ago, are also seeking a return to form after beginning their campaign in Group B with back-to-back goalless draws against the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.

But Aurelio Vidmar's Olyroos face a tough task in Sydney against an Uzbekistan side who are the only team in Group B to have claimed a win so far after beating Iraq 2-0 at home on Matchday One before sharing a goalless draw with the UAE on Wednesday in Al Ain.

With Uzbekistan completing a run of back-to-back away games at Parramatta Stadium, the UAE will look to build on posting their second draw of the campaign against Uzbekistan earlier this week against Iraq at Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium to remain in the qualification pictures ahead of the final three games in February and March next year.

Finally in Group C, Japan welcome fellow table-toppers Syria to Tokyo with both side's putting their perfect records on the line at the National Stadium.

Japan added to their opening day win over Malaysia with a 2-0 victory in Bahrain on Tuesday as Keigo Higashi scored for the second consecutive game, while Syria beat Malaysia by the same scoreline in Kuala Lumpur.

With only the three group winners guaranteed a ticket to London and the second placed finishes entering a play-off for the right to meet an African representative for a place at the Olympic Games, Malaysia and Bahrain will look close the gap at the top of the table when the pair meet at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.



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