Socceroos see off Oman in crunch WCQ

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The Socceroos will head into their crunch World Cup qualifier against Japan sky-high on confidence after prevailing 3-1 over Oman to remain in prime position to qualify for Qatar 2022.

Awer Mabil powered Australia in front after just nine minutes in Doha, with Oman's Al Mandhar Al Alawi responding in the 28th, before Martin Boyle's 49th-minute header and Mitch Duke's 89th-minute finish sealed three points.

The hard-fought victory keeps Australia top of group B, ahead of Saudi Arabia on goal difference and six points clear of fourth-placed Japan, whom they face in Saitama on Tuesday night.

Japan's 1-0 away loss to Saudi Arabia on Friday morning (AEDT) followed a previous home defeat to Oman and leaves them in a precarious position.

"It's one game at a time for us," Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said.

"We go to Japan now, the Japanese, no doubt, have all the pressure on them because they've only won one game out of three.

"We will go there with the mindset like we always have every time we go on the field, we expect to win the game, we go out to win the game and we'll do that again on Tuesday."

The Socceroos also became the first team to register 11 straight wins in a single World Cup qualifying campaign, eclipsing the 10 consecutive victories enjoyed by Germany (2018), Spain (2010) and Mexico (2006).

"It's obviously something that I'll reflect on in the future," Arnold said.

"It's obviously a great achievement, but for today it's all about recovery and getting players ready for the Japan game and (going) for 12 straight."

The Socceroos got their foot on the ball early in Doha and made it count when Jackson Irvine's testing ball into the area was cleared into the path of Mabil, who lashed home.

But from there captain Mat Ryan was kept busy in goal, with Arnold lamenting the Socceroos getting "dragged into an erratic game".

The seemingly inevitable equaliser arrived in the 28th minute when Oman's Khalid Al-Hajri showed some good hold-up play before feeding Al Mandhar Al Alawi, who whipped an unbeatable shot into the top corner.

Oman lost the influential Al Aghbari to a shoulder injury in the 31st minute and four minutes into the second half, a calmer Australia regained the lead.

Tom Rogic drove forward and delivered a brilliant cutback to Adam Taggart, who smacked a shot straight at Faiz Al-Rushaidi.

But when the keeper spilled the effort, an alert Boyle threw himself at the ball to head home from close range.

"I remember flying through the air and I thought he was going to take my head off with his boot," Boyle, who was also unlucky not to receive a penalty in the 56th minute, told Network 10.

The game remained in the balance until substitutes Chris Ikonomidis, Fran Karacic and Duke combined with aplomb to seal the victory in the 86th minute.

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