The Socceroos seemed to have comfortably won the qualifier but even while down 3-0 Kuwait threatened to claw their way back into the match.

Particularly concerning were the first 15 minutes of the second half with the hosts' coming out the sheds clearly determined to turn the match around at Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium.

They pressed Australia's players and were able to create three clear shots on goal that they failed to make the most of.

Kuwait captain Hussain Al-Musawi found enough space on the edge of the box to fire a volley into the side netting.

Just six minutes later, Mathew Ryan was tested for the first time in the match with the Socceroos goalkeeper brilliantly tipping forward Al-Masawi's shot over the bar.

Not long afterwards Yousef Nasser had arguably Kuwait's best chance of the night when Trent Sainsbury's awkward, no-look overhead clearance dropped into his path near the penalty spot.

But Ryan was on hand again to save Nasser's effort

Eventually the tourists started to move the ball around quicker to swing the momentum back in their favour.


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Defender Milos Degenek said Kuwait were "a bit fiery" and midfielder Jackson Irvine also felt their "fire in the belly".

"They had that little patch of possession but I thought we defended well and we coped with the pressure well and we just got back on top," Degenek said.

Irvine said despite Kuwait creating some opening the Socceroos dictated the terms.

"Naturally when you're playing away from home they're going to come out and make a few changes, you know fire in the belly, but I thought overall we controlled the game," he said.


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Coach Graham Arnold played down Kuwait's resurgence in the second half, putting it down to a bit of Socceroos lethargy with the temperature at 36C during the match.

But he said scoring the early goals and sitting back in control had always been part of his game plan.

"It might have something to do with the weather, we put a lot of energy into the first half to get a couple of goals to break the game open then we were in control," Arnold said.

"I thought the first half was excellent, the first half of the second half was a bit erratic and the last half (of the second half) was very professional."