Dubai: In a free-flowing, end-to-end contest between the UAE and Australia in the World Cup qualifier playoff, it was Graham Arnold’s men who emerged victorious 2-1.
The UAE were dangerous on the counter with Argentine manager Rodolfo Arruabarrena, a former Boca Juniors and Villareal defender, willing the team on from the touchline. But, it was Australia who took the lead early in the second half thanks a strike from FC Pauli midfielder Jackson Irvine.
But within minutes the UAE were level as Abdalla whipped in a cross from the left for Caio Canedo who smashed home.
With 10 minutes remaining the Socceroos thought they won it when Boyle fed Hrustic who found Maclaren but the striker’s shot was saved by Eisa in goal.
But then with just 5 minutes left before the match went into extra time the Aussies fired the killer blow as Mooy’s corner was flicked on for Hrustic who couldn’t miss.
The ref blew for full time and it is the Aussies who progres to a final playoff against Peru next week for a spot in the 2022 Qatar World Cup.