Melbourne: Australia scored three goals in three minutes in a second-half burst to beat Saudi Arabia 4-2 in Melbourne on Wednesday and dash the Middle Eastern country`s hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
Saudi Arabia took a 2-1 lead deep into the match at AAMI stadium courtesy of first-half goals by midfielder Salem Aldawsari and striker Nassir Al Shamrani, but were deflated by a 73rd minute strike by Harry Kewell and then Alex Brosque and Brett Emerton scored in quick succession before the 76th minute.
Saudi Arabia had needed victory to guarantee their passage to the fourth round of Asian regional qualification with Oman winning their match 2-0 at home to Thailand on Wednesday.
Australia had already claimed one of the 10 places in the next round of qualifying.
First Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 17:22