Australia into next round of WCup qualifiers

BY foxsports • November 15, 2011

Australia booked its place in the final round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup by winning 1-0 away to Thailand on Tuesday.

Brett Holman scored the sole goal in the 77th minute, heading in a pinpoint cross from Brett Emerton.

The result ensured the Socceroos will finish in top spot in Group D of third-round qualifiers, with one game still to play, while putting Thailand on the brink of elimination.

If Saudi Arabia wins as expected later Tuesday at home against Oman, then Thailand is out.

The game was played at Suphachalasai Stadium in downtown Bangkok, as the larger-capacity Rajamangala Stadium is being used as an evacuation center for victims of Thailand's floods.

Thailand's players put up a spirited effort against their more credentialled opponents, creating chances to take the lead and frustrating the Socceroos, who picked up four yellow cards in the second half.

Australia had the first good chance, in the 29th minute, when towering striker Josh Kennedy connected with a header from close range, but was denied by Thai goalie Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool.

Suree Sukha - who formerly played his club football with Melbourne Victory in the A-League - squandered a great chance for Thailand in the 35th minute when he found himself one-on-one with veteran Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer but fired well over the bar.

The game paused after Kirati Kaewsombat crashed into Schwarzer in the 72nd minute and lay prostrate for several minutes.

Soon after, Netherlands-based forward Holman broke the deadlock with his eighth international goal.

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