"I am relieved and disappointed at the result. We just got out of jail as Mark Schwarzer made two wonderful saves and the game showed just how difficult it is in Asia," said Arnold after the pre-tournament favourites luckily emerged with a point.

"We needed to start with a quick tempo," continued the 43-year-old.

"If you start with a slow tempo then you give the opponent confidence. That allowed Oman to dictate terms which wasn't what I wanted the players to do."

Oman took a 32nd-minute lead through Badar Mubarak and that looked enough to give the Gulf Sultanate all three points until Cahill came off the bench to rescue the Aussies in their Asian Cup debut,

Commenting on the talismanic Everton midfielder, Arnold continued:

"That is why Timmy is so special to us. He's coming back after a three or four month injury lay-off and now has 30 minutes under his belt. He's making good progress."

Meanwhile, Oman coach Gabriel Calderon expressed pride in his players even though Cahill's stoppage-time strike denied them a victory the Argentinian believed they deserved.

"I am proud to be Oman coach but I am obviously sad because we didn't get the win tonight," said Calderon.

Calderon hinted that he accepts Oman carry the mantle of group outsiders, stating that each of their three group games are being treated like deciders.

"This was the first of three finals for Oman. Now we have two more against Thailand and Iraq who are both very strong teams," he added.

"Of course I am disappointed with the result as I thought Oman were the better side on the night."

Match pictures can be seen here.

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