Australia beats Jordan 2-1 in warm-up for World Cup playoff

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Australia’s Socceroos have warmed up for next week’s World Cup playoff against United Arab Emirates with a 2-1 comeback win over Jordan.

Mousa Al-Tamari’s powerful strike gave Jordan the lead in the 18th minute of the international friendly before Bailey Wright equalized in the 40th and Awer Mabil put Australia ahead midway through the second half.

Australia’s head coach Graham Arnold rested five starting players and used 17 players in total to prepare for Tuesday’s Asian playoff against the UAE. Both teams finished third in their groups in Asian qualifying. The winner will advance to an intercontinental playoff against Peru, also in Qatar.

“We probably couldn’t of had a better game to play,” Arnold said. “Jordan is a good side. They have changed enormously since they got a new coach, they put us under pressure, and that is the perfect game that you want.”

Graham said there was still a lot to work on for the Socceroos, who have qualified for every World Cup since 2006 but are in danger of missing out when the 2022 edition kicks off in Qatar in November.

“The good thing is, this is the longest I have ever been able to coach them” during Australia’s qualifying campaign,” Arnold said. “We have another six days now before the UAE game and it’s all work — and we will get things right.”

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