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World Cup Qualifiers: Australia battle past UAE 2-0

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Australia earned a 2-0 victory over the United Arab Emirates in a 2018 football World Cup qualifier on Tuesday evening at the Allianz stadium.

In the opening few minutes, the Aussies looked shaky turning the ball over twice in front of goal to Gulf League superstar Omar Abdulrahman. But a seventh-minute goal from the header of Jackson Irvine after a corner, helped ease the nerves of Australian fans.

Although Australia controlled the match, at times they looked very vulnerable, as the UAE found space out wide against Australia's new 3-4-3 formation.

"We are playing the system because we found if we challenge our players, they respond," Australia's relieved manager Ange Postecoglou said after the match.

"In every system, you are going to have challenges, we believe this is the best formation for our team and how we want to play."

It took until the 78th minute for Australia to seal the match with a Matthew Leckie header from another set piece.

"Matty was brilliant tonight, he looked sharp and he looked determined," Postecoglou said.

Australia now move to second place in Group B standings.