Socceroos coach laments costly defeat to Jordan

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 September, 2012, 2:18am


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Australia coach Holger Osieck has hinted at changes after his side's damaging defeat to Jordan, which leaves their 2014 World Cup qualifying hopes hanging in the balance.

Already under pressure after draws against group B rivals Oman and Japan, the Socceroos now face an enormous task to reach their third straight World Cup after the disappointing 2-1 loss in Amman.

"We didn't get into the game, our passing was a disaster, we never could get into our normal rhythm," said Osieck, who said the disappointment was "enormous".

"We played a lot of long balls and I don't know why that happened. There was not enough movement in midfield. It was definitely a very poor showing in the first half."

Osieck said his side worked hard after the break but their inability to convert their chances cost them dear.

"A couple of words have been said in the dressing room already. As for [the next game], I already have my plans," he said.

Victory for Jordan, ranked a lowly 87th in the world, lifted them above Australia to second in the qualifying group with four points from three matches behind leaders Japan, with 10 points from four games.

With only the top two teams automatically qualifying for the World Cup finals in Brazil, Australia are level on two points with Iraq and Oman.

Socceroos captain Lucas Neill said Australia's poor results meant they now had a tough road ahead with five matches left to play in the final phase of Asian qualifying.

"We've got to keep believing and stay positive. There's plenty of points to play for, but if we perform like we did tonight it's going to be difficult," Neill said.

Japan strengthened their iron grip on group B but mighty Iran were sent spinning to their first ever defeat to outsiders Lebanon.

As Japan beat Iraq 1-0 in Saitama, group A leaders South Korea were held to a pulsating 2-2 draw by Uzbekistan.

But the night's biggest shock belonged to Lebanon, who had Shandong Luneng midfielder Roda Antar to thank for a 1-0 win over Iran that raised hopes of an unlikely World Cup berth.

Japan were hit by the late withdrawal of Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa with a lower back twinge, but earned the crucial breakthrough when Stuttgart's Shinji Okazaki fed Jubilo Iwata striker Ryoichi Maeda in the six-yard box to nod home the game's only goal on 25 minutes.