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Australia resurrect World Cup chance with win over Iraq

Australia have seen their World Cup qualification chances improve within a blink of an eye as they came from behind to defeat Iraq 2-1 in Doha on Wednesday morning Australian time.

The Socceroos were reeling after last month's shock loss to Jordan and after pressing the Iraqi defence for much of the first 70 or so minutes, must have been hurting even more when substitute Alaa Abdul Zahra struck on the counter with just under 20 minutes left.

The goal, which was tucked neatly past Mark Schwarzer, appeared as if it could have been the only strike of its nature for the contest until the Socceroos produced a late comeback to take maximum points in front of an extremely small crowd in Qatar.

First of all it was Tim Cahill who rose above the pack to nod home a corner in the 80th minute to level the scoreline before Socceroos sub Archie Thompson glanced a classy header past Noor Sabri to send Holger Osieck's men to second spot on the Group B table, five points behind leaders Japan, and equal with Oman who beat Jordan 2-1 in Muscat.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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