SPO_220602 AUSTRALIA FOOTBALL-1654171224927
Jordan's Abdallah Nasib clears the ball during the friendly against Australia in Doha on Wednesday. The Socceroos won 2-1 as they prepare for the World Cup play-off against UAE. Image Credit: AP

Melbourne: Australia overhauled Jordan 2-1 in a friendly in Doha on Wednesday to bring winning form into their World Cup play-off against UAE next week.

Awer Mabil sealed the win with a clever volley in the 68th minute after Bailey Wright cancelled out a stunning long-range strike from Mousa Al Tamari early on.

Australia had a bright start to their Qatar qualifying campaign but stumbled with a string of disappointing results, leaving coach Graham Arnold under huge pressure.

Should they get past UAE on Tuesday, they will battle Peru in an intercontinental play-off in the Qatari capital six days later for a spot in Group D at the World Cup with champions France, Denmark and Tunisia.

Key players rested

Having rested a number of key players against Jordan, Arnold was happy with the win but said his team still had plenty of work to do.

“We probably couldn’t of had a better game to play,” Arnold said. “Jordan are a good side. They have changed enormously since they got a new coach, they put us under pressure, and that is the perfect game that you want.

“We have another six days now before the UAE game and there’s no days off, it is all work, and we will get things right.”

Getting cobwebs out

Lacking the creative drive of attacking midfielder Tom Rogic, who pulled out of the squad for personal reasons, Australia got both their goals from set pieces.

Defender Wright, recalled for his first international since late-2019, latched onto to a curling free kick from Craig Goodwin in the 40th minute to head in from the far post.

Australia midfielder Aaron Mooy struck the post with a searing free kick soon after the break but Mabil secured the win with a goalmouth flick after Jordan keeper Yazeed Abulaiba blocked a shot from a corner.

“It was important to, first and foremost, get the cobwebs out,” said Goodwin. “But to pick up a win and build the confidence going into that (UAE) game is important.”