Stalemate Ends Iraq & New Zealand Confederations Cup Hopes

A goalless draw in South Africa sees Iraq and New Zealand ousted from the Confederations Cup...
Iraq had to aim for a hefty win tonight if they were to have any hopes of progressing to the next stages of the Confederations Cup.

However, they failed to break the deadlock against the All Whites which allowed South Africa safe passage to the knock-outs - despite Bafana Bafana being defeated at the hands of Spain.

In a game that could only half-fill Ellis Park - even in spite of FIFA giving out free tickets to the match - things only really became tense in the dying minutes of the game.

Karrar Jasim took a dig from close-range after 87 minutes, and while unfruitful in his endeavour to take the lead, managed to spark some life into competing sides.

Salih Sador stepped up next, his long-distance drive stinging the palms of New Zealand 'keeper Glen Moss before sent out to safety.

Salam Shaker almost provided the light at the end of the tunnel deep in injury time as his shot was cleared off the goal-line by Kiwis defender Tony Lochhead.

Iraq's spirited last-gasp attempts to seal qualification to the next round proved unsuccessful however, allowing second-placed South Africa to join Group A winners Spain in the next round.

Stephen Crawford,