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St Paul's Irvine shoot Australia into the round of 16

St Paul's Irvine shoot Australia into the round of 16

“It's just the competition,” Irvine said after the hard-fought win: “It's just about winning games, not conceding any goals, scoring goals and getting to the next round.”

Irvine, who had already contributed the opening goal for the 2015 Asian champions in their 2-0 win over India, scored Australia's first shot past R-Ryan in the 59th minute. Prior to the match, the midfielder had scored just eight times in 60 internationals, and even for St Paul's, Irvine's success rate was not exceptionally high with twelve goals in 75 league appearances.

Australia leads Group B with 6 points. The Syrians (one point), coached by former Inter and Valencia coach Hector Cuper, can still hope. The top two teams from each of the six groups and the two best third-placed teams advance to the round of 16.

Meanwhile, in Group C, Palestine picked up their first point of the tournament. Coach Makram Daboub's side drew 1-1 (0-1) against the United Arab Emirates at Al-Waqra. After a 1:4 (1:3) defeat against top-ranked Iran, Palestine is still waiting for its first win in its third tournament participation.