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Australian Football: Socceroos slip up against Oman

Graham Arnold has told his players to pick themselves up and go again after a 2-2 draw with Oman left their World Cup qualifying chances dangling by a thread.

Australia are priced at 500/1 to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup but now have it all to do to book a place on the plane to Qatar after dropping points against Oman.

Late penalty drama

The Socceroos looked on course for a crucial three points as they were leading 2-1 with just one minute of normal time to play before disaster struck.

Aussie fullback Fran Karacic was adjudged to have brought down Oman substitute Muhsen Al-Ghassani in the penalty area and Abdullah Fawaz stepped up to fire home from the spot.

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The draw means Arnold's men now have to win their last two games against Japan and Saudi Arabia, both away from home, to book their place at the World Cup finals and avoid the play-offs.

Only two teams qualify automatically from Group B and as things stand Saudi Arabia hold top spot with Japan just behind them in second.

Arnold keeps the faith

It does mean that the Socceroos still have qualification in their own hands but there will need to be a huge improvement if they are to qualify automatically.

"The players are dead silent," Arnold told reporters after the defeat. "I just said to them, I’m a little bit disappointed with the sloppiness at times and the physical side of things, but overall we’ve just got to get on with it.

"Pick yourselves up, get back to your clubs, work hard, get healthy and we look forward to the Japan game.

"I’ve still got a load of belief in the boys. At the end of the day, everything is still in our own hands. We have to win both games, and beating Japan and Saudi Arabia away, our goal difference is like an extra point."

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