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Australians are beaten in Kuwait

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KUWAIT CITY -- Kuwait upset Australia 2-0 in the fourth round round of Asian Cup qualifiers in Kuwait City on Wednesday to remain in contention for a place in next year's finals.

Khalaf Al Mutairi and Bader Al Mutwaa scored in the second half to hand Kuwait their first win in Group D and avenge their 2-0 loss to Australia in Sydney last month.

The Australians had already qualified for next year's finals.

Even so they were still expected to win after choosing a powerful team made up entirely of European-based players.

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold told Australian reporters his players had struggled to cope with the heat but Kuwait took their chances.

"You have to give credit to Kuwait, they were good tonight, they were very well organized and when they had their chances they took them," Arnold said.

Australia lead the standings with six points ahead of Kuwait with four and Bahrain with one and two matches to play.

Australia host Bahrain on October 11 before Bahrain entertain Kuwait on November 15 to decide who joins Australia in the finals.

The group was reduced from four teams to three after Lebanon pulled out.


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Shaheen of Kuwait sprints away from Elrich to launch an attack.

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