Mahdi Ali resigns as UAE coach

The Socceroos are back on track.

With Mooy suspended after picking up a second yellow card of Australia's Russian Federation 2018 qualifying campaign, James Troisi is the likely replacement in attacking midfield, while Mustafa Amini is also an option.

UAE coach Mahdi Ali has resigned after Tuesday's 2-0 defeat away to Australia left The Whites' hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation in ruins.

Australia, who had drawn their previous four qualifiers, started strongly and earned the lead in the sixth minute, Irvine meeting James Troisi's cross and heading the ball into the body of Abdelaziz Sanqour, who deflected it past goalkeeper Ali Khaseif.

The top two qualify automatically for next year's World Cup in Russian Federation.

Australia vs United Arab Emirates live streaming online will be available on FuboTV Official website.

But the UAE remained risky with their talismanic playmaker Omar Abdulrahman, the Asian player of the year, forcing a flying save from goalkeeper Mat Ryan in the 17th minute. His presence immediately lifted the team and Troisi should have extended the Socceroos lead, but he skied his shot over the bar after a good cutback from Mathew Leckie.

As Asian champions, Australia were favoured to grab one of the two automatic spots to reach their fourth straight World Cup but their inability to score from open play had cost them dear. Ugly? You bet. Priceless?

With half an eye on that tournament, Postecoglou has abandoned a back four defence and lined his side up with wingbacks in a 3-4-3 formation for their last two qualifiers.

Australia don't lose World Cup matches at home - just three defeats in 63 matches stretching back to 1969 - so having two of the remaining three matches on home soil means the road to Russian Federation might be the direct route after all.

The Socceroos' next qualifier is in June against Saudi Arabia in Adelaide. Not the mojo, necessarily, but that's the fine detail. "Be careful what you wish for", he said earlier this week, and that applies equally to his desire for a nation debating his philosophy. It was nearly an exact replica of the first goal, with the Socceroos still at their most unsafe from set pieces.

It took until the 78th minute for Australia to seal the match with a Matthew Leckie header from another set piece.

Australia 11 vs UAE: to be updated.

And unfortunately for Postecoglou, he admitted it's the "one thing I can't control". Their challenge is to work out what to do with it.

With captain Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan also regulars in the starting XI, there have been few opportunities for other midfielders to impress but Jackson Irvine took his chance this month and - apart from the new formation - was the revelation of the window. The new system seems complicated, but Irvine makes it look simple.

Plus in the 3-2-4-1, the absence of genuine wing-backs exposes the back three even further. What counts is that he's looking the part.

"It happened. We allowed them too much time".

Any Australian worries, though, were eventually calmed in the 79th minute, another corner leading to another Socceroos goal, Mathew Leckie this time the one to divert it home at the near post. Team news and line ups next. "We could have done better". It didn't last long though, before Ryan was again called into action to thwart another effort from Abdulrahman.

"We always know at home we're a dominant team".


Popular

CONNECT