x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Australia see more room for improvement

Australia have full points from their three matches so far but coach Osleck is not satisfied.

One point from their last three games is likely to be enough to put Australia through to the final round of World Cup qualifying after they saw off Oman 3-0 yesterday.

The win gave Australia maximum points from their first three matches and a five-point lead over second-placed Thailand, who drew 0-0 with Saudi Arabia.

"That was the target, we had a good win on Friday [5-0 in a friendly over Malaysia] and we wanted another," Lucas Neill, the Australia captain who plays for Al Jazira, said. "It will give us a lot of confidence with one foot in the next round."

Holger Osieck, the coach, said there was room for improvement. "I'm happy but not satisfied," he said. The Socceroos play their next match in Muscat on November 11 and a win would definitely see them qualify.

Elsewhere, Japan put eight goals past minnows Tajikistan to top Group C, alongside Uzbekistan.

Both sides have seven points after the Uzbeks beat North Korea 1-0 away. Tajikistan only reached the third round of qualifying after Syria were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player.

"We knew we were expected to win but it felt good to win in such emphatic fashion," Alberto Zaccheroni, the Japan coach, said in a pitch-side interview.

Jordan beat Singapore 3-0 away to stay undefeated.

Abdallah Deeb opened the scoring in the 11th minute by heading in a cross from about 10 yards, in front of approximately 4,000 fans at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Despite Jordan coach Adnan Hamad's worries over the stadium's artificial turf, the visitors looked comfortable throughout the game and limited the hosts to few scoring chances. Singapore were without their coach, Radojko Avramovic, who is serving a four-game suspension.

With a third victory in as many matches, Jordan lead Group A with nine points. Iraq are second with six points after beating China, who have three points, 1-0.