Socceroos star Harry Souttar gets his head to a ball against Palestine.
Towering defender Harry Souttar again proved vital as he scored the only goal of the game in the 18th minute, getting his head to a Craig Goodwin corner kick.
Australia then had an almighty scare, but goalkeeper and captain Mat Ryan saved a Tamer Seyam strike to ensure victory.
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The win in Kuwait followed a 7-0 thrashing of Bangladesh last week.
But Souttar knows the performance won’t be enough to win games going forward.
“I don’t think we were best pleased with our performance. We can play a lot, lot better,” Souttar said.
“But it’s a great lesson for us as a team and a couple of the new guys coming into the squad about playing games away in Asia.
“If you want to go through and qualify, these are the games you’ve got to win.
A big crowd packed the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium with passionate support for the Palestinians, a team that has never appeared at the World Cup.
“We’re very sympathetic for everyone with what’s going on,” Australia coach Graham Arnold said of the Gaza conflict before the game.
“But again, it’s a game of football and that brings a lot of joy to everybody.”
The Socceroos take control of Group I with victory against a Palestinian team that drew 0-0 against Lebanon.
Palestinian coach Makram Daboub was unable to call all his usual squad as three of his players were unable to get out of Gaza to report for a training camp in Jordan. Those that have made it are, the Tunisian said, struggling to focus.
“The players are in the hotel or on the bus most of the time following the news on their phones and communicating with their families,” Daboub said before the game.
“They are in a constant state of anxiety with the continued aggression and war in Palestine.”
The Socceroos’ next assignment is an Asian Cup group game against India on January 13.
– with AP