Socceroos too good for Oman in World Cup qualifier
The Socceroos continue to win on the road to next year’s World Cup, with Oman their latest victims.
The Socceroos have set a new record for successive wins in a World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-1 victory over Oman in Doha.
It was Australia’s 11th straight win on the road to next year’s World Cup in Qatar, surpassing the 10-game record they had shared with Germany (Russia 2018), Spain (South Africa 2010) and Mexico (Germany 2006).
The victory, secured with goals from Awer Mabil, Martin Boyle and substitute Mitch Duke, also kept the Socceroos at the top of the Group B in the third round of Asian Football Confederation qualifiers.
Then top two teams from Groups A and B will automatically qualify for next year’s World Cup.
The Socceroos took the lead in just the ninth minute with a Mabil goal.
The Oman defence failed to deal with a Jackson Irvine cross, with the loose ball falling for Mabil, who showed great control before unleashing with left-footed strike that was too good for goalkeeper Faiz Al-Rushaidi.
However, if the Socceroos needed any warning of the threat Oman posed it came in the following minute when the impressive Zahir Al-Aghbari forced Australia’s skipper and keeper Mat Ryan into a good save.
Oman continued to cause the Socceroos problems and it was anything but a surprise when they equalised in the 28th minute.
Rabia Alawi Al-Mandhar was the scorer with a classy finish after creating space in the penalty area for himself with a quick shift of the ball that allowed him to get the better of Socceroos defender Harry Souttar.
Needing the half-time break to regain their composure, the Socceroos regained the lead four minutes into the second half.
Playmaker Tom Rogic, making his 50th appearance for the national team, was the architect, getting behind the Oman defence before cutting the ball back into the path of striker Adam Taggart.
Taggart then fired a shot was only partially dealt with by gloveman Al-Rushaidi, with the ball sitting up for Martin Boyle, who headed home from close range.
It was part of an improved second-half performance from the Socceroos, who sealed their latest win with an 89th-minute goal from Duke.
The Socceroos are next in action on Tuesday night when the meet Japan in Saitama.
Japan will be desperate after suffering a 1-0 loss to Saudi Arabia, who sit second behind Australia on goal difference in Group B
The loss was Japan’s second in three Group B matches.
Australia 1 (Mabil 9’, Boyle 49’, Duke 89’) d Oman 1 (Al-Mandhar 28’)
Australia: Mat Ryan, Rhyan Grant (Fran Karacic 80’), Trent Sainsbury, Harry Souttar, Aziz Behich, Jackson Irvine (Jimmy Jeggo 80’), Ajdin Hrustic, Martin Boyle (Chris Ikonomidis 86’), Tom Rogic (Aaron Mooy 63’), Awer Mabil, Adam Taggart (Mitch Duke 63’).