Oman surprise Qantas Socceroos

Australia's bid to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup suffered a hiccup on Saturday morning, with the Qantas Socceroos defeated 1-0 by Oman in Muscat.

Australia's bid to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup suffered a hiccup on Saturday morning, with the Qantas Socceroos defeated 1-0 by Oman in Muscat.

Holger Osieck's side will get an opportunity to get the point they need to progress to the fourth stage of qualification in Thailand on Tuesday and they will be spurred on by what was a poor performance against an Oman side who claimed their first win against Australia in five attempts.

Amad Al Nosni scored the game's only goal after 18 minutes and the Qantas Socceroos failed to mount an adequate response, with the visitors resorting to long-balls and direct play in a sloppy performance.

Both sides began the match in cagey fashion and although Australia threatened on set-pieces, Mile Jedinak and Matthew Spiranovic could not direct their headers on target.

But it did not take long for the game to blow wide open when Al Nosni caught the Qantas Socceroos napping at the back.

Ahmed Hadid picked out the scorer with a nice pass into space, giving Al Nosni the time to compose himself before he fired an angled shot past Mark Schwarzer's left and into the corner of the net.

It was a terrific strike and Australia were quickly on the back foot, with Schwarzer doing well to tip a Hussain Ali Al Hadhri free-kick around the post for a corner moments after.

Australia were denied a quick response by the offside flag on 27 minutes, with Harry Kewell was flagged after he won a header, which was turned in by Brett Holman.

The decision was unfortunate and unlucky for Australia, and although they continued to carve out chances, the quality of them was questionable as a series of hopeful strikes failed to trouble Oman shot-stopper Ali Al Habsi.

Al Hadhri produced another quality free-kick on the stroke of half-time and was unlucky to see his effort from distance clip against the post as the hosts headed into the break holding a slender advantage.

The Qantas Socceroos were expected to come out firing in the second half but Luke Wilkshire and Josh Kennedy failed to test Al-Habsi in the early stages before Kewell was withdrawn for Robbie Kruse.

Al-Habsi was called into action after 56 minutes when Rhys Williams had his volley acrobatically saved, with a powerful 20-yard strike forcing the Wigan goalkeeper to tip the ball over the bar for a corner.

The visitors had claims for a penalty shortly after when Wilkshire went down after close attention from Hashim Al-Balushi inside the area, before Oman nearly struck a second on the counter-attack with Mile Jedinak rushing back to force a corner.

Oman continued to create chances from set-pieces but failed to convert a string of free headers while Kennedy and Holman failed to get a touch on a tantalising ball across the box from Wilkshire.

Williams limped off with an injury with 17 minutes to play, replaced by Sydney FC's Brett Emerton, but although Australia enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the latter stages, they failed to create clear-cut chances against a disciplined Oman side.

Australia now have nine points from their four matches and although they have two matches remaining in Group D to gain the point they need to progress to the next stage, the Qantas Socceroos would love to wrap things up in Bangkok on Tuesday evening.