The Socceroos have been defeated by Saudi Arabia 1-0 in a tense match that has seen them miss out on automatic qualification for the FIFA World Cup.
Despite several attempts and an offside goal in the first half, Australia wasn’t able to get on the scoreboard with Saudi Arabia successful in their efforts after Salem Al-Dawsari scored a penalty goal in the 64th minute. Play came to an end at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jedda, SA where the Green Falcons finished top of Group B and automatically qualified for the FIFA World Cup.
The Socceroos are third on the Group B ladder having only won one match while the remaining four have been either been lost or drawn. Australia is set to go up against the United Arab Emirates in the fourth round of qualifiers on June 7 where their spot in the World Cup will be dependent on a win.
Whoever wins that match will faceoff against the fifth placed South American side with Peru currently sitting in 5th position in the group with room for Columbia or Chile to move up to the 5th spot. People online have weighed in on the AUS v SA match with Twitter user @CoffeeNutSydney saying “If we can’t beat Saudi Arabia I don’t like our chances against the 5th placed South American side.”
Another user @JoshGersbach pointed out that Australia should have done better.
“Not one player from that Saudi team plays a in a “Top” league. In fact all of them play in the Saudi League. Our players are good enough to qualify for a World Cup through Asia. Just need the right person to get the best out of them.”
Australia is placed at 37 in the world rankings with the FIFA World Cup set to kick off later this year in Doha, Qatar.