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Australia beats UAE 2-0 after 4 draws in qualifying

Tue, 28 Mar 2017

Australia defeated United Arab Emirates 2-0 in Sydney on Tuesday, ending a run of four games without a win to get qualification for the 2018 World Cup back on track.

However, UAE's second loss in five days prompted coach Mahdi Ali to announce his resignation at the news conference. He'd been in charge since 2012.

Goals in each half from Jackson Irvine and Mathew Leckie sealed a vital win for the Socceroos, who had slipped into third place in Group B behind Saudi Arabia and Japan after four successive draws.

UAE arrived in Sydney in fourth, a point behind Australia.

Lax marking at a seventh-minute corner gave Irvine a free header that took a deflection on its way into the net.

While UAE threatened at times through 2016 Asian player of the year Omar Abdulrahman, it struggled to create enough clear chances to seriously worry the Asian champion.

With 12 minutes remaining Leckie headed home a James Troisi cross to give Australia three points that kept alive hope of a fourth successive World Cup appearance, and in its own hands.