Australia beats Oman 3-0 in World Cup qualifying
Midfielder Brett Holman scored in the eighth minute on Tuesday
to set Australia on the way to a 3-0 win over underdogs Oman that
leaves the Socceroos in a strong position to advance to the fourth
round of Asian qualifying for the World Cup.
Josh Kennedy, with his eighth goal in his last five
internationals, scored Australia’s second goal in the 65th minute
and Mile Jedinak completed the scoring with five minutes left.
The win gives Australia maximum points from its first three
matches and a six-point lead over second-place Thailand, which has
played two matches.
”That was the target, we had a good win on Friday and we wanted
another,” Australia captain Lucas Neill said. ”It will give us a
lot of confidence with one foot in the next round.”
Osieck said there was room for improvement. ”I’m happy but not
satisfied,” he said.
The Socceroos play their next match in Muscat, Oman on Nov. 11,
needing as little as one point from its final three matches to
The first- and second-place teams in each of the five qualifying
groups qualify for the fourth round.
Australia was playing without two of its regular internationals
– former Leeds and Liverpool star Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton,
who opted out of the final year of his contract with Blackburn
Rovers to join the A-League’s Sydney FC.
They were excused from the Australia lineup by head coach Holger
Osieck so they’d be available for their respective teams – Kewell
with the Melbourne Victory – for Saturday’s scoreless draw to open
Osieck made three changes from Friday’s night’s 5-0 friendly win
over Malaysia, with Holman and Jedinak returning to the starting
The Socceroos survived some nervous moments and sloppy defending
early as Oman made use of its pace with several swift
But Holman gave Australia the early lead when he scored his
sixth international goal, turning in a Matt McKay square ball after
Oman had failed to clear a dangerous Rhys Williams cross.
Australia maintained its dominance but couldn’t add to its total
until the 65th minute when Kennedy scored. Jedinak completed the
scoring in the 85th minute, cleverly flicking in a free kick from
Oman came closest to scoring in the 68th minute, but Australian
goalkeeper Adam Federici made a strong save from Ahmed Al
Mahaijri’s curling free kick.