Dejected Lebanon players leave the field after their 5-2 win fell just short of earning qualification.
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Lebanon were denied qualification to the 2015 Asian Cup despite a resounding 5-2 win in their final Group B tie against Thailand in Bangkok Wednesday.The Cedars looked on course for an unlikely berth in Australia as the best third-placed side among the five groups, before fate intervened when Kraisorn Adisak's 72nd-minute goal for Thailand coupled with China's late penalty against Iraq prevented Guissepe Giannini's men from only their second appearance at next summer's continental showpiece.Hasan Maatouk, who was afforded free rein on the pitch, often dropped deep to further consolidate Lebanon's stranglehold in midfield, and it was not long before their dominance told.Abbas Atwi's second minute corner typified Lebanon's aerial advantage, as Mohammad Ghaddar rose above the Thai defenders to arrow his header into the roof of the net.With news filtering through of China's three-goal deficit to Iraq, Lebanon were through to the Asian Cup as things stood.
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