South Korea pressed desperately for the equalizer and Kim nearly made amends for his mistake, but put a free header wide near the end.
Lee Keun-ho also came close to scoring in stoppage-time.
“It was a very difficult match. We knew that we played a great team,” Queiroz said. “My team played with a realistic approach, to try and wait for a weak point in the [South] Korean team and with a counterattacking attitude.”
South Korea’s Choi, who is stepping down from the job, preferred not to talk about his row with Queiroz.
“I am not going to comment on that. After this loss, whatever I say may sound like an excuse,” Choi said.
In Tashkent, Uzbekistan needed a hatful of goals, but they went behind when a botched pass out of defense gave Abdulqadir Ilyas an easy chance on 36 minutes.
Uzbekistan took up residence in Qatar territory and they finally got their reward through substitute striker Bahodir Nasimov’s toe-poke on 60 minutes.
Oleg Zoteev’s dribble and shot put Uzbekistan in front on 72 minutes and the massed fans at the Bunyodkor Stadium dared to dream when Nasimov scored their third from close range two minutes later.
Late strikes from Odil Ahmedov and Ulugbek Bakaev raised excitement to fever pitch, but the clock quickly ticked through stoppage-time and the former Soviet republic were kept waiting for a first foray to soccer’s biggest stage.
Earlier in Sydney, Australia wasted countless chances in wet conditions before coach Holger Osieck replaced an angry Tim Cahill with Kennedy in the 77th minute.
The towering Nagoya Grampus striker justified the substitution when he saved the day with a clinical, 83rd-minute header that sent the 80,000 crowd wild.