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United Arab Emirates 1-2 Australia: Australians fight in Peru for place in World Cup final | Football news

Australia will face Peru next week for a place in November’s World Cup final, after beating the United Arab Emirates 2-1 on Tuesday in Asia’s final elimination for Qatar 2022.

Defender Ali Salmeen sent Ajdin Hrustic’s volley past Khaled Eisa with six minutes to go at Al Rayyan’s Ahmad bin Ali Stadium to keep Australia’s hopes of qualifying for a fifth consecutive World Cup final alive.

Jackson Irvine had given Graham Arnold’s side the lead in the 53rd minute with a close attack, but Caio Canedo tied the score four minutes later with an emphatic finish into the roof of Mathew Ryan’s net.

The Australians increased the pressure throughout the second half and it eventually paid off when Hrustic headed towards goal after a corner from Aaron Mooy and the deflection on Salmeen proved decisive.

“We showed good character, I think we dominated most of the game and we took the chances when they came,” said Australian Martin Boyle.

“It’s only half the battle. We have to dust ourselves, prepare and we’ll go again.”

How Australia kept their hopes for World Cup qualifier alive…

Australia
Image:
Australia now faces Peru for a place in the World Cup final

Harib Abdalla Suhail had carried the main threat on the left for an Emirates side that had the better of the early exchanges, forcing Ryan to make a couple of saves at his nearest post in a lukewarm first 45 minutes.

But eight minutes into the second half, the Australians struck, with Boyle turning the defense before finding Irvine, who scored with a first finish from the six-yard box.

The lead lasted four minutes as Suhail’s pace again proved problematic. Shabab Al Ahli’s winger curled into a cross and Caio eventually fired his left foot shot into the roof of the net.

Craig Goodwin and Hrustic both had attempts that flew over the goal before Boyle saw the ball bounce off his shins and go wide as the Australians increased the pressure.

UAE
Image:
Harib Al-Maazmi of the United Arab Emirates looks dejected after their party’s defeat

Eisa kept the Emirates in the game ten minutes from time with an instinctive save from substitute Jamie Maclaren, but four minutes later there was little he could do.

Mooy’s corner headed back towards the edge of the penalty area and Hrustic made a powerful connection, with the ball making a decisive deflection from Salmeen’s hip, leaving Eisa helpless.

The Socceroos will meet Peru next Monday at the same venue in the first of two intercontinental play-offs to determine the remaining places in the final, with New Zealand playing Costa Rica in the final eliminator 24 hours later.

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