Australia missed the chance to
advance early to the next phase of World Cup Asian qualifying
when they suffered a surprise 1-0 loss away to Oman on Friday.
Oman forward Amad Al Hosni scored the only goal of the game
in the 18th minute after collecting a through ball and firing
past Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
Australia pressed for an equaliser with Brett Holman and
Luke Wilkshire going close but Oman held them at bay to end the
visitors' 100 percent record in Group D.
Australia head the standings on nine points from four
matches after their first defeat in the pool with Saudi Arabia
(two points) hosting Thailand (four points) in the other Group D
match later on Friday.
Oman, ranked 103rd by FIFA and coached by former Olympique
Lyon coach Paul Le Guen, had struggled so far during the
qualifying phase, suffering 3-0 away losses to Australia and
But their unlikely first win of the pool puts them on four
points from four matches and back in contention to claim one of
the 10 available slots in the fourth round of qualifiers.
Australia travel to play the Thais on Tuesday where victory
for the visitors will book a place in the fourth round.
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