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Arnold insists he is right man for Australia

Under-fire Australia coach Graham Arnold drew comfort from the fact that the Socceroos have experience of reaching the World Cup via playoffs after their slim hopes of direct qualification for Qatar were snuffed out by Japan.

Two late goals from substitute Kaoru Mitoma gave Japan a 2-0 win in Sydney on Thursday, securing one of the top two spots in Group B for the Samurai Blue and assuring Saudi Arabia of the other.

Australia's path to the finals now lies through a playoff against the third placed team in Group A - the United Arab Emirates, Iraq or Syria - followed by another against the fifth ranked nation in South America's qualifying tournament.

Arnold insisted that he was the right man to lead Australia to Qatar and hoped to have a stronger squad to select from come June after losing a host of players to COVID-19 and injury for the Japan match.

"I believe in these boys," he said. "It is one game at a time and one camp at the time, and we will see what happens." 

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