(Reuters) - Uzbekistan rallied to beat Qatar 5-1 at home but still fell short of an automatic qualifying spot for the 2014 World Cup finals on Tuesday.
Uzbekistan were pushed into third place in Asian qualifying Group A, behind Iran and South Korea, and will have to rely on the playoff route to make it to Brazil.
Iran beat South Korea 1-0 in Ulsan on Tuesday to top their qualifying group, and South Korea also qualified automatically for the finals after finishing above Uzbekistan on goal difference.
The third-place finishers in both Asian qualifying groups will meet in a two-leg playoff, with the winners taking on a South American side in another two-leg playoff for the right to play in Brazil next year.
The hosts missed a flurry of chances in the first half and paid for their profligacy when Qatar took the lead in the 37th minute through Abdulqadir Ilyas’s first international goal.
Bahodir Nasimov found the Uzbeks’ equaliser in the 60th minute with his first touch.
Oleg Zoteev, another substitute, put Uzbekistan in the lead before Nasimov added his second. Odil Ahmedov and Ulugbek Bakaev completed the scoring.
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai, editing by Stephen Wood