After four draws in Group B, Australia finally broke the deadlock to beat the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 2-0 to keep alive their hopes of a place at the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

A dominant display at the Sydney Football Stadium saw Australia grabbing the lead as early as the sixth minute when Jackson Irvine headed home the cross from James Troisi’s corner from the left to calm any Australian nerves.

They then added the second goal of the game in the 78th minute with Troisi the provider from a corner as Matthew Leckis heading into the back of the net for the three points.

The win moved Australia to third in the standings behind Japan and Saudi Arabia.

In the meantime, Thailand’s dream of a place in the final of the FIFA World Cup slipped even further following their 4-0 loss to Japan at the Saitama Stadium.

Shinji Kagawa found the lead after eight minutes, Shinji Okazaki grabbed the second in the 19th minute, Yaya Kubo (57th minute) and then Maya Yoshida finishing things with the fourth goal of the game seven minutes to the end.

Thailand could have pulled a consolation goal at the end but Teerasil Dangda’s late penalty was saved by Eiji Kawashima.

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