Australia down Iraq to retain unbeaten World Bank record
Australia beat Iraq 1-0 in Brisbane on Sunday to remain undefeated in their Asian qualifying group for the 2010 football World Cup, dpa reported.
The home side, who have seven points from three matches, need to finish in the top two in the group to move to the next round.
But the 47th minute header from former Liverpool star Harry Kewell did little to dispel the perpetual complaint against Australia - its difficulty in actually getting the ball in the net.
Asian champion Iraq was unlucky not to go one up after four minutes when midfielder Emad Mohammed hit the crossbar. Mohammed was again denied when goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer blocked his shot from close range on 27 minutes.
Iraqi star Younis Mahmoud had the best chance of the first half, missing an easy header when unmarked after 36 minutes.
Schwarzer again saved Australia's blushes when he denied Hawar Mulla Mohammed an equalizer with just seven minutes left.
Iraq, who on Thursday escaped a FIFA ban over government interference in football affairs, needed a win to keep their World Cup hopes alive.
Australia under Dutchman Pim Verbeek, who was in charge of South Korea when they were beaten by Iraq on penalties in the semi-finals of last year's Asian Cup, will not have taken much comfort from the victory.
The sides play their second World Cup qualifier in Dubai on Saturday, where Iraq will have the support of a partisan crowd.