Oman undone by ten-man Aussies

Ten-man Australia stayed on course for the 2011 Asian Cup finals on Saturday by battling back from a goal down to defeat Oman 2-1 and stay top of Group B.

Khalifa Ayil Al-Naufli put the Omanis ahead in the 16th minute, but Luke Wilkshire levelled two minutes from half-time before Brett Emerton scored the winner seven minutes from the final whistle. Australia have seven points from four matches, three in front of Oman. Kuwait, who have three points from two matches, face Indonesia later Saturday.

Oman deservedly took the lead after sustained early pressure. They were awarded a penalty when Imad Al Hosni was fouled inside the area by Rhys Williams who was red-carded.

Al-Naufli had his spot-kick saved by goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, but the striker was quickest to the rebound to score at the second attempt. Australia levelled when Mark Bresciano set up Wilkshire but they were fortunate not have fallen behind again before the break when Fawzi Bashir saw a drive come back of the post.

Fulham goalkeeper Schwarzer pulled off three fine saves in the second half before Australia grabbed a late winner, with Emerton beating Ali Al Habsi in the Oman goal.