Football 1 year ago

Socceroos on right road to Russia

  • Socceroos on right road to Russia

    ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - SEPTEMBER 06: Tim Cahill of Australia celebrates after scoring his teams first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between UAE and Australia at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium on September 6, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The tough assignments keep coming for Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos, with another top-of-the-table clash up next on their road to Russia.

After dispatching United Arab Emirates with a 1-0 win on Tuesday night, Australian players head back to their club sides for a month before resuming their World Cup qualification path.

The Socceroos' next match will be in October in Saudi Arabia, who joined Australia with six points from their opening two games.

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Just as they did in their opening home win over Thailand, the Saudis left it late to triumph over Iraq.

Mohannad Abdul-Raheem put Iraq ahead but two penalties from Nawaf Al Abed - in the 81st and 88th minutes - earned Saudi Arabia a 2-1 win in Malaysia.

Saudi Arabia's three goals from this phase of matches have all come after 80 minutes from the penalty spot.

Japan rebounded from their opening loss to United Arab Emirates by dispatching Thailand in Bangkok.

Genki Haraguchi and new Arsenal signing Takuma Asano scored second half goals in torrential weather to earn the Blue Samurai their first points of the campaign.

The top-two finishers in the six-team group automatically head to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with the third place finisher off to play-offs.

AUSTRALIA'S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING GROUP RESULTS - MATCHDAY TWO

United Arab Emirates 0-1 Australia, Abu Dhabi

Thailand 0-2 Japan, Bangkok

Iraq 1-2 Saudi Arabia, Shah Alam (Malaysia)

TABLE AFTER TWO MATCHES

1. Australia - 6 points, +3 goal difference

2. Saudi Arabia - 6 points, +2 GD

3. Japan - 3 points, +1 GD

4. United Arab Emirates - 3 points, 0 GD

5. Iraq - 0 points, -3 GD

6. Thailand - 0 points, -3 GD

AUSTRALIA'S ROAD TO RUSSIA

October 6, 2016 - Saudi Arabia (A)

October 11, 2016 - Japan (H)

November 15 - Thailand (A)

March 23, 2017 - Iraq (A)

March 28, 2017 - United Arab Emirates (H)

June 8, 2017 - Saudi Arabia (H)

August 31, 2017 - Japan (A)

September 5, 2017 - Thailand (H)

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