The Socceroos have come away from their final World Cup group stage match against Thailand, with a 2-1 victory at AAMI park on Tuesday.
But their World Cup qualifying hopes hang in the balance for a further five hours, as they await the result of the Saudi Arabia v Japan match in Jeddah, requiring Japan to draw or beat the Saudis in order to go through, otherwise Australia has to go through a series of playoffs.
Ange Postecoglou’s side dominated possession in Melbourne, racking up an astonishing 45 shots, with both Aaron Mooy and Tim Cahill rattling the goalposts in the 6th and 16th minute respectively.
After a frustrating first half, the opening goal came from Tomi Juric who headed home Mooy’s pinpoint cross from the left in the 69th minute.
Thailand stunned the hosts after Pokklaw Anan equalised from a cutback on 81 minutes, but luckily Australia hit back through Mathew Leckie who smashed home off an Aaron Mooy corner for a late winner.
Australia moved into second-place with Saudi Arabia three points behind in the Asian qualifying group B. However Saudi Arabia have a game in hand and are superior on goal difference and with a win over Japan would see them book an automatic ticket to Russia. Follow our football predictions here
In the post-match press conference Postecoglou praised his men’s efforts in what could of been perceived as a frustrating match.
“It’s heartbreaking for the players, they were brilliant tonight; stuck to the game plan and had 40 plus shots, good chances that didn’t go in.
“If we’d got one a bit earlier we may have opened them up a bit. I thought they didn’t get their rewards tonight from a brilliant performance.
“The players really stuck at it – they didn’t get frustrated so I didn’t. They knew what they needed to do … (they had) really good opportunities and it’s a game of inches.
“They were calm and calculated in their processes. Even at one each they could have got deflated. But they found the character and resilience …”
He added: “We just played some really good football – it’s exactly how I want my teams to play. They performed their task and they did all they could tonight.”