Australia edge Saudi Arabia 3-2, keep World Cup fate in own hands

Saudi Arabia
Taiseer al Jassam of Saudi Arabia fights for the ball with Mile Jedinak of Australia. — AFP

ADELAIDE: Australia kept their hopes of a fourth successive World Cup appearance in their own hands with a nerve-jangling 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia in their qualifier in Adelaide on Thursday.

A stunning left-foot strike from midfielder Tom Rogic in the second half proved the difference after the teams were locked 2-2 at the break in front of a parochial crowd at Adelaide Oval.

Forward Tomi Juric scored a brace for the home side in the first half but the Green Falcons showed courage to come back twice through goals from Salem Al Dawsari and Mohammed Al Sahlawi.

Australia remain third in Asia’s group B but join leading Japan and the second-placed Saudis on 16 points.

The top two teams qualify automatically for Russia, with the third placed side going into a playoff.