Qatar, Iran advance after World Cup qualifier draw

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Mohammed Kasola scored an 83rd-minute equalizer to send Qatar through to the final stage of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup with a 2-2 draw against Iran.

Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host, was facing elimination when it trailed 2-1 but Kasola's goal meant his team went through at the expense of Bahrain, which won 10-0 against last-place Indonesia.

Iran, which had already guaranteed its progress, went ahead through Ashkan Dejagah's 4th-minute header before Khalfan Ibrahim equalized in the 9th from the penalty spot. Dejagah restored the hosts' lead with a free-kick in the 50th.

Iran topped Group E with 12 points followed by Qatar with 10. Bahrain, which finished third with nine points after beating Indonesia 10-0, needed Qatar to lose and to turn around a goal difference of nine.

Qatar going through is significant with the Gulf nation trying to improve its football status ahead of hosting the 2022 World Cup.

After crashing out in the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup last year, Qatar's 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign has been a rocky affair. The only wins came against lowly Indonesia, the 96th-ranked team drawing twice against Gulf rival Bahrain, scoring no goals in either match.

As a result, the team has gone through four coaches since the Asian Cup. Earlier this month, Qatar hired Paulo Autuori of Brazil with the match against Iran his first big test.

Autuori was recently the coach of the Qatar Olympic team. He has also coached the Peru national team and several clubs in Brazil. Among them is Sao Paulo, which he guided to the 2005 Club World Cup. He also has coached several Qatari sides.

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Lineups:

Iran: Mahdi Rahmati, Khosrow Heidari (Hossein Mahini, 85), Hadi Aghili, Jalal Hosseini, Mehrdad Pouladi, Javad Nekounam, Ali Karimi, Pejman Nouri, Mohammad Reza Khalatbari (Mohammad Nori, 66), Mohammad Ghazi (Karim Ansari, 72, Ashkan Dejagah.

Qatar: Qasem Burhan, Meshal Abdullah Mubarak Budawood, Ibrahim al-Ghanim, Mesaad Ali al-Hamad, Mohammed Kasola, Anas Mubarak, Ibrahim Khalfan (Mohammed RAZA, 75), Wesam Rizik Abdulmajid, Talal al-Bloushi (Fabio Montesin, 78), Sebastian Soria, Yousef Ahmed Ali (Hasan al-Haydos, 62).