World Cup - Jordan upset deepens Australia's World Cup gloom

Holger Osieck's already filthy mood after Australia were held 2-2 at home by Oman on Tuesday night can only have worsened when he heard the news from Amman that his team's path to the 2014 World Cup finals had just become that little bit harder.

Reuters
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Australia's Mile Jedinak reacts after Oman scored during their World Cup qualifier in Sydney (Reuters)

The German coach was fuming after the Socceroos needed a late Brett Holman equaliser to come back from two goals down and claim a draw at Sydney's Olympic stadium in a match he had declared a "must-win".

Desperately looking for positives after being booed off the pitch by some in the crowd of 36,000, Osieck took solace in the fact that the match had essentially been a game in hand for the Australians over the other sides in Asian qualifying Group B.

"Basically, if you look at our situation on the table, it hasn't actually changed, we are still in second position and we still have the two home games," he said.

The home games against Jordan and Iraq remained on the fixture list in the early hours of Wednesday morning Australia time but second place in the table had been snatched by Jordan, who stunned runaway group leaders Japan 2-1.

Japan still lead Group B on 13 points with Jordan now second on seven ahead of Australia and Oman on six points. Iraq are last with five points.

With only the top two going straight through to the finals in Brazil in 2014 and the third facing the lottery of a playoff, Australia's away fixture in Japan now looks crucial to their hopes of reaching the World Cup for the fourth time.

German Osieck, who railed against the sloppy passing and lack of adventure in his players in the first half against Oman, suggested his team for the June 4 tie might look very different.

"We must display a better performance not just over 30 minutes, but over 90 minutes and we definitely have to talk about that very seriously," he said.

"I will have to consider who will be on the next trip to Japan.

"We cannot travel to Japan and just give it away. That wouldn't be a very good attitude," he added. "There's no doubt that we have to be there and get a result as well, that's for sure."

One player certain to be on the flight to Japan, fitness permitting, is New York Red Bulls striker Tim Cahill.

The 33-year-old was outstanding on Tuesday, heading his side back into the match in the 49th minute and only denied a hat-trick by an equally fine performance from Oman goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.

Even Oman coach Paul Le Guen took time to pay tribute to the former Everton forward.

"We were unable to compete in the air with Cahill," he said. "He is one of the best players in the world in the air."

Osieck's task before the Japan match is to find the right blend of players to get the ball to Cahill in positions where he can add to his 27 international goals, and perhaps even create a few chances of their own.

"We trained well all week but it's all about producing," Cahill told reporters. "Tonight it just wasn't enough.

"We have to stick together. We got a point and now we have to drive and go again."

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