With three teams on five points, the Qantas Socceroos’ FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman in Sydney is a chance to strengthen the hold second place.
With three teams on five points, the Qantas Socceroos- FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman in Sydney is a crucial opportunity to get some breathing space in second place.
With Japan eight points clear at the top, Holger Osieck-s side have a game in hand on Iraq and Oman, and must open up a gap in second place at Stadium Australia on 26 March.
The Blue Samurai remain unbeaten in Group B, with the 1-1 draw against the Socceroos the only points Alberto Zaccheroni-s side have dropped in this stage.
Since then, Japan have beaten Iraq 1-0 in Saitama and Oman 2-1 in Muscat - where Australia were held to a scoreless draw - to leave the rest of the group trailing in their wake.
The Qantas Socceroos' road to Brazil might have been a bit rocky so far but with three games on home soil coming up, they remain favourites for second place. The only obstacle is the testing away game in Japan in early June, which means making the most of home advantage even more important.
Iraq and Oman have made good ground on Australia since the last round of matches. Well, they-ve both beaten Jordan to get to five points and keep the competition alive.
Oman have been getting ready for the trip to Sydney with friendly games against Qatar (lost 2-1), UAE (lost 2-0), China (won 1-0) and Syria (won 1-0). The worst defensive record in the group suggests Osieck-s side should be able to add another loss to those results.
Iraq are currently third, behind Australia on goal difference but only their narrow win over Jordan late last year has kept them in touch.
That shock result against the Socceroos in Amman last September remains Adnan Hamad-s side-s only victory and the green and gold can get revenge when Al-Nashama - “The Chivalrous” - visit Melbourne in June.
The Qantas Socceroos face Oman in Sydney on 26 March. Click here to buy your tickets.