2022 FIFA World Cup qualification: Socceroos beat Jordan 2-1

Set up by a nice lay back from Ahmed Samir, Al-Tamari unleashed a fierce left-foot drive that swerved and beat goalkeeper Ryan, another who has not played much for his Spanish club Real Sociedad this season.

He was a buzzing presence throughout for a team that really should have hit the front on the hour mark when substitute Yazan Al-Naimat lobbed wide when clean through with just Ryan to beat.

Wright was wrong – then right

Socceroos defender Bailey Wright has had a whirlwind week or two, capped by his display for Sunderland in the Wembley play-off final victory that took the storied old club back up to the English Championship.

The big centre back was recalled to the Australian squad for the first time since 2019 by coach Arnold, and his re-appearance was marked by two crucial first-half involvements at either end of the pitch.

With Australia trailing and Jordan pressing for a second goal, Wright committed a clumsy challenge inside the area with Jordan immediately clamouring for a penalty that could have given them a two-goal lead.

With no VAR to help, play was waved on and Wright breathed a sigh of relief. Shortly after, he was a pivotal figure at the other end, scoring Australia’s equaliser. Craig Goodwin, who was one of a number of fringe players starting this game, floated over a free kick and Wright rose higher than his rival to thump home a header and make it 1-1.

Adelaide United’s Craig Goodwin created Bailey Wright’s leveller with an excellent free kick.Credit:Getty

Carpe diem – if you can

Australia coach Arnold had called up an extended 29-man squad for this do-or-die campaign and promised to field an experimental team for this game, giving players who had not had many match minutes a chance to show what they could do.

Melbourne Victory left-back Jason Davidson started for the first time in seven years, but made way after just 45 minutes, as did Blackpool midfielder Kenny Dougall, replaced by Jackson Irvine.

Victory defender Jason Davidson celebrates after scoring in the FA Cup Final win. He made his first start for Australia in seven years against Jordan.

Victory defender Jason Davidson celebrates after scoring in the FA Cup Final win. He made his first start for Australia in seven years against Jordan.Credit:Getty

Mooy was rusty but grew into the game and almost put Australia in front with a free kick that struck the woodwork early in the second half. He lasted an hour before being replaced by young former Melbourne City midfielder Denis Genreau: like Wright, he was on a high, having helped his French club Toulouse to promotion to France’s top tier next season.

Central Coast defender Kye Rowles made an international debut, Riley McGree was given a chance as an attacking midfielder between Mabil and Craig Goodwin, while Melbourne Victory striker Nick D’Agostino led the line.

Goodwin’s delivery from set pieces made him a threat, Rowles looked comfortable at the back, and D’Agostino got a crucial touch to help set up Mabil’s winning goal after Bailey Wright had initially been denied with a fine save of his header from another corner.

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