Iran held by United Arab Emirates

SYDNEY - Iran captain Karim Bagheri scored with nine minutes remaining to salvage a 1-1 draw against the United Arab Emirates in an Asian World Cup qualifier in Dubai on Wednesday. United Arab Emirates skipper Abdul Raheem Jumaa gave his team a great chance of recording their first win over Iran when he scored for the home team in the 20th minute. But Bagheri equalised in the 81st minute to spare his team's blushes and earn a vital point in the Group Two qualifer. Iran have five points from the first three of their eight qualifying matches while United Arab Emirates have one point from four games. The top two countries in the five-team standings qualify directly for the 2010 World Cup while the third-placed side proceeds to a playoff.