Australia adopted hosts and holders Qatar into the final 16 of the Asian Cup with an unconvincing 1-0 win over Syria on Thursday.
Jackson Irvine scored the winner on the hour mark together with his second purpose of the match, spinning within the penalty space earlier than placing the ball by means of the legs of goalkeeper Ahmad Madanieh.
Graham Arnold’s Socceroos are within the knockouts with a bunch match remaining however might want to play higher in the event that they need to win the Asian Cup for a second time.
There have been solely two pictures on the right track your entire match, one for every workforce.
Arnold, who took Australia to the final 16 of the World Cup in Qatar earlier than being crushed 2-1 by eventual champions Argentina, denied his aspect had been fortunate.
“We knew they’d make it tough and I used to be very pleased with our defensive efficiency,” mentioned Arnold, after seeing his aspect beat India 2-0 within the opening match.
“General I do know we will enhance, and we are going to, however it’s nice to qualify for the second spherical.”
He added: “We clearly have to enhance with the ball, however they made it tough to attain and are tough to interrupt.
“What’s essential is that we ship a mature efficiency.”
India will play Uzbekistan in the identical group afterward Thursday.
Within the closing spherical of Group B on Tuesday, Australia will play Uzbekistan and Syria will play India.
Syria, who hit the submit early, are nonetheless in rivalry for the final 16 and their skilled Argentina coach Hector Cuper mentioned: “What offers me confidence is the spirit and sacrifice of the gamers. That makes me optimistic.
“I’m glad and happy with the gamers and am assured that we will qualify.”
– Nearly disgrace –
Decrease-ranked Syria nearly took the lead inside 5 minutes when their Colombian-born striker Pablo Sabbag tapped the ball from the foot of the Australian submit.
A bodily imposing Australia started to exert management, however with out actually threatening.
Their greatest likelihood got here ten minutes earlier than half-time when Gethin Jones received the ball with a looping header from a nook and midfielder Irvine – who scored in India’s victory – simply didn’t convert from the far submit.
Ranked 91st out of Australia’s 25, Syria have been hardly an attacking power within the compact Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, regardless of one of the best efforts of their fanatical supporters.
However Syria, who drew 0-0 with Uzbekistan, got here alive on the finish of the primary half.
Winger Ammar Ramadan was a continuing risk and dragged a snap shot huge, inflicting confusion within the aspect netting. A Sabbag try from exterior the field curled over.
Arnold trudged by means of the tunnel throughout halftime, shaking his head.
Within the 57th minute he had seen sufficient and made a three-way substitution, together with throwing on attacking midfielders Riley McGree and Samuel Silvera.
Three minutes later, Australia took the lead by means of Germany-based midfielder Irvine.
Australia have been largely relaxed after that, however goalkeeper Maty Ryan nearly suffered a humiliation when he spilled a tame effort from vary within the 67th minute and scrambled again to claw the ball off his purpose line.