Jordan stun Australia in World Cup qualifier

Australia coach laments costly defeat

The atmosphere at the King Abdullah Stadium in Amman was electric after outsiders Jordan, thrashed 6-0 by Japan in June, claimed an unlikely win thanks to second-half goals by Hassan Abdel-Fattah Mahmoud and Amer Deeb.

Australia pulled a goal back through substitute Archie Thompson late on but poor finishing and frantic defending allowed Jordan to claim the memorable win.

Jordan are now in second place on four points in Group B and in one of the pool's two qualifying berths for a place at the finals in Brazil in 2014.

Australia coach Holger Osieck has hinted at changes after his side's damaging defeat left 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 uphill battle to reach their third straight World Cup after Tuesday's 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," said Neill.

"Ultimately, the job is to get the points to go to Brazil and (Osieck) has to pick a team he feels will get maximum points now."

Commentators said the result was a major blow to the Socceroos' World Cup hopes. The Sydney Morning Herald described Australia as "precariously placed".

"This was up there with the worst Australian performances under Holger Osieck," the Herald wrote.

"All the ongoing concerns were present. Most obviously, the Socceroos lacked strategy and shape. Jordan pressed, and when they pressed harder, Australia wilted."

The Herald said every match was now a must-win for the Socceroos if they were to stay in 2014 contention, beginning with next month's qualifier in Dubai against Iraq - a side who have troubled them in the past.

"At least the next equation has crystallised. Winning in Dubai is anything but a fait accompli, yet it almost certainly has to be done."

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