Sydney: Jackson Irvine and Mathew Leckie were on the scoresheet as Australia secured a crucial 2-0 victory over the United Arab Emirates at Sydney Football Stadium on Tuesday to keep their dream of reaching the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 well and truly alive.
After four straight draws in Group B, Australia went in front on six minutes when Irvine (pictured right) headed home James Troisi’s outswinging corner from the left via a deflection off Abdelaziz Sanqour, before Omar Abdulrahman’s free-kick drew a flying save from Mathew Ryan ten minutes later.
The visitors cranked up the pressure after the interval and substitute Mohammed Abdulrahman forced Ryan into another fine save ten minutes after the restart. Troisi then missed a golden opportunity to open up a two-goal lead by firing over from eight yards on 71 minutes and Irvine saw his header well blocked by UAE ‘keeper Ali Khaseif with 12 minutes remaining.
But from Troisi’s ensuing corner, Leckie (pictured left) put the game beyond doubt by heading in from just a few yards out as the hosts opened up a four-point lead on their opponents in Group B and gave the Emiratis a mountain to climb to reach the World Cup.
Source : Asian Football Confederation Website