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North Korea, Australia battle for final Olympic spot out of Asia

DPR Korea is on the verge of joining Japan at the 2012 London Olympics. The North Koreans will join world champion Japan in London next year with a victory over Thailand on Sunday in the final game of the Asian Football Confederation Olympic Qualification.

DPR Korea (2-0-2, 8 pts.) is two points clear of Australia, which is the only team that can catch the North Koreans in the standings. The top two teams from AFC Olympic Qualification advance to London and Japan (3-0-1, 10 pts.) has already clinched its spot. Australia will need some help. The Matildas take on South Korea (1-2-1, 4 pts.) on Sunday and have to win to stay alive.

Australia then needs a small miracle from Thailand, which has lost all four games thus far in the tournament. A win for the Matildas – quarterfinalists in this summer’s World Cup – is certainly possible, but it may be too much to ask of Thailand to get a result against the resilient North Koreans. Australia needs Thailand to at least obtain a draw. Sunday will decide the fate of two of Asia’s top teams.


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