TEHRAN, June 2 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates kept
their lead at the top of Group 5 after holding misfiring Iran to
a goalless draw in their World Cup qualifier on Monday.
The draw took the Gulf champions closer to their first
finals since the 1990 tournament. They now have five points from
Iran, who were again without inspirational captain Mehdi
Mahdavikia because of a knee injury, now have three points.
Syria are third on two while Kuwait prop up the table with
just one point. The two teams were scoreless in their qualifier
After three Asian Cups and three appearances in the World
Cup finals, Iran are one of the region's heavyweights but have
struggled so far in their campaign, especially in front of goal.
Last week's narrow 3-2 friendly victory over Zambia was
Iran's first win in 11 months and their 2-2 draw with Kuwait in
their last qualifier ended an embarrassing six-match goal