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Saudi Arabia overhauled Iran to qualify for the 2002
World Cup finals.
Oct 22, 2001 - A 4-1 win in Riyadh allowed the Saudis to get past Iran who blew their 1 point lead by losing in Bahrain and finishing with nine men to leave them facing the UAE in a lay-off and then the Irish Republic in two more matches next month.
The Saudi side showed patience against Thailand and in a nervous situation found a 40th minute lead when Abdullah Sheehan scored. Abdullah Jamaan, a penalty from Sami al Jaber and Ibrahim Mater then added second half goals with Boriban Tananchai scoring for the Thais.
Five wins in six games under coach Nasr al Johar pushed Saudi through Group A to the top after a poor start that included a 2-0 defeat by Iran in Tehran two months ago.