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Oman vs Australia

FIFA World Cup - 2022 Qualifiers - AFC - Qualifying - Round 3 - Group B - Match 8
Oman vs Australia
at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat, Oman on 2022-02-01T16:00:00
Score: 2-2 (1-1)
Scorers: Jamie Maclaren (15'), Aaron Mooy (79')
Official Info: Socceroos
Previous Match: Australia vs Vietnam
Next Match: Australia vs Japan

I imagined we'd be up against the best team Oman could put out desperately striving for a win to keep their hopes alive. Instead we went up against a team missing seven of their first-choice players due to COVID and apparently resigned to missing out. And we still failed to put them away.

We created several good chances, however we struggled (again) to put them away. Twice we went ahead and twice we were pegged back. Simply not good enough.

In the end, not getting the three points may not have made much difference, as Japan did us no favours by beating the Saudis who hadn't dropped a point to date. So Japan is now three points ahead of us, albeit with an inferior goal difference. Mathematically we can still qualify and our destiny is in our own hands. However this requires us to win both of our last games against Japan and the Saudis. On current form, that's not going to happen.

We have guaranteed that we will finish in third spot or better, so we are through to the next round of qualifying. Perhaps that will give us the freedom to throw caution to the wind. Realistically though, we haven't kept up with the top countries in Asia. I don't think it's going out on a limb to predict we will finish third in our group. After that, who knows? We should beat the third-placed team from the other group, although that's by no means certain. Beating a South American team seems unlikely.