Sydney:Football fans were convinced on Thursday that Australia would make it to a third World Cup, after their team snatched a goal in injury time to clinch a 1-0 victory over Bahrain in Manama.
Palermo midfielder Mark Bresciano blasted past goalkeeper Sayed Jaffer to consolidate Australia's position atop their qualifying group.
The top two Group One teams in these Asian qualifiers will play in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, while the runners-up will play each other home-and-away, with the winner advancing to an inter-confederation play-off against New Zealand.
Coach Pim Verbeek told Australia's ABC Radio that the scoreline flattered his team.
"Bahrain played very well, and we didn't, but we were lucky to get these three points," he said. "We didn't deserve it. We would have been happy with one point."
Japan consolidated its Group One ranking with a 3-0 win against Qatar in Doha.