Iraq vs Australia

Current Score

  • Iraq 1
  • Australia 2

Match Profile

Goal Scorers
  • Alaa Abdul Zahra
    • 72minutes
Goal Scorers
  • T. Cahill
    • 80minutes
  • A. Thompson
    • 84minutes
Team Statistics
  • Goals at Half-time 0
Team Statistics
  • Goals at Half-time 0
14 May 2014 - 6:03pm

Socceroos leave it late in Doha

  • On target ... Australia's scorers Archie Thompson (left) and Tim Cahill celebrate (Getty Images)
Australia needed late goals from Tim Cahill and Archie Thompson to come from behind and beat Iraq 2-1 in a vital 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory.
17 Oct 2012 - 4:04 AM  UPDATED 14 May 2014 - 6:03 PM

Needing three points after a shock loss to Jordan last month, Australia found itself trailing late on once more after Alaa Abdulzehra broke the deadlock on the counter-attack in the 72nd minute.

Tim Cahill levelled with a trademark header from a Matt McKay corner with 11 minutes left in the match.

The sighs of relief in the Australian camp turned to jubilation four minutes later when substitute Tommy Oar produced an inviting ball for fellow replacement Archie Thompson to nod home in front of a crowd of 2183.

Holger Osieck will have left the stadium relieved to have his first win in the group but knowing his team is still far from its best.

The win moves Australia on to five points from its four matches so far, five points adrift of runaway leader Japan.

The Socceroos, who host three of their last four matches, sit in the second automatic qualification position, level on points with Oman which beat Jordan 2-1.

Australia will be without skipper Lucas Neill and Carl Valeri for its next qualifier, against Oman in Sydney on 26 March, after they picked up yellow cards.

Australia starting XI: Mark Schwarzer, Luke Wilkshire, Matthew Spiranovic, Lucas Neill, Matt McKay, Robbie Kruse, Mile Jedinak, Carl Valeri, Brett Holman, Tim Cahill, Alex Brosque.

Osieck was delighted with his team's comeback.

"I think we are back in the race ... it is better to operate from the upper position rather than to chase the pack," he said.

In sapping conditions, Osieck's decision to hold off until the 75th minute to make his first substitution looked like backfiring when Australia went 1-0 down.

However, Thompson made an impact in his quarter of an hour on the pitch, netting his third goal in three outings for Australia.

"I wanted to substitute at that very moment when they had the counter (and scored) because I had the feeling we needed some fresh legs," Osieck said.

"Unfortunately we conceded but our substitutes gave us more energy and freshness and it was nice that we could benefit from both."

In an encouraging sign, youngster Robbie Kruse bamboozled the Iraq defence in a fine performance as he continued to cement his spot in the national team.

Makeshift defender McKay was one of Australia's leading players while Cahill was at his combative best and should have had his first goal in the 19th minute but scuffed his shot.

Not that he was the only Australian guilty of missing opportunities.

Kruse missed a sitter in the 56th minute as the Socceroos dominated the contest.

Midfielder Mark Bresciano, who only lasted an hour in total in the previous two qualifiers, was not needed with Osieck making three changes to the starting side that lost 2-1 to Jordan last month.

There was a nervous moment for Neill in the 57th minute when he was judged to have pulled back Younus Mahmood.

The Iraq striker looked to be sprinting clear of Neill onto a long ball when the skipper stopped his progress.

Neill received a yellow card but was possibly a touch fortunate not to be handed a straight red from referee Lee Min Hu for being the last defender.

Match Commentary

minute code event
90 SI Substitute in J. Holland of Australia
90 SO Substitute out T. Cahill of Australia
87 YC Yellow card awarded to T. Cahill of Australia
84 G GOAL (Australia): Scored by A. Thompson
83 SI Substitute in Osama Rashid of Iraq
83 SO Substitute out Nashat Akram of Iraq
80 G GOAL (Australia): Scored by T. Cahill
79 SI Substitute in T. Oar of Australia
79 SO Substitute out R. Kruse of Australia
75 SI Substitute in A. Thompson of Australia
75 SO Substitute out A. Brosque of Australia
72 G GOAL (Iraq): Scored by Alaa Abdul Zahra
64 SI Substitute in Alaa Abdul Zahra of Iraq
64 SO Substitute out Muthana Khalid of Iraq
61 YC Yellow card awarded to Khaldoun Ibrahim of Iraq
60 SI Substitute in Mustafa Karim of Iraq
60 SO Substitute out Hamady Ahmad of Iraq
57 YC Yellow card awarded to L. Neill of Australia
43 YC Yellow card awarded to Salam Shakir of Iraq
19 YC Yellow card awarded to C. Valeri of Australia

Match Statistics