Australia beat Thais to advance
BANGKOK - Reuters
Australia player Mille Jedinak heads a ball during his team’s Thailand game.
Brett Holman headed home a late winner to send Australia into the next round of Asia’s World Cup qualifying yesterday, snatching a 1-0 victory that put Thailand on the verge of missing the 2014 finals.
Holman popped up unmarked in the area in the 76th minute and nodded home a Brett Emerton cross from five metres to see off a Thai side that battled to stay in the competition but paid a heavy price for missed chances.
Australia struggled in the Bangkok heat but ended up winners of Group D with one match left to play, taking 12 points from five games, ahead of Saudi Arabia.
Kennedy had a chance in the 28th minute and almost put the visitors ahead, bending low and nodding an Emerton cross into the hands of Sinthaweechai. Suree almost broke the deadlock for Thailand in the 35th minute, but blasting over the bar from six meters.
In other games, Iran beat Indonesia 4-1 and got closer to be through. Also, China kept alive its slim hopes by beating Singapore 4-0, while North Korea defeated visiting Japan 1-0 in a game with no impact on qualification for the next round.