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Socceroos set sights on wins, not draws

AAP logoAAP 1/09/2016 Justin Chadwick

The Socceroos have three points in their kit bag already, but midfielder Massimo Luongo is hungry for more ahead of next week's World Cup qualifier against the UAE in Abu Dhabi.

The Socceroos lead their group after beating Iraq 2-0 in Perth on Thursday night.

Second-half strikes to Luongo and Tomi Juric gave Australia all three points, and they've quickly turned their attention to their clash with the UAE on Tuesday.

The UAE shocked Japan 2-1 in Saitama on Thursday, with the upset throwing the race for top-two spots in Group B wide open.

Australia will start as hot favourites for all of their home matches, but winning on the road could prove tricky.

However, Luongo played down talk the Socceroos would be happy with a draw when they face the UAE in the Emirati captital.

"Of course not. I don't think anyone thinks like that," Luongo said.

"Every game in these qualifiers are there for the win. We're going there to get three points and play well and prove we're a good side.

"It will be tough with the conditions. Away games are so difficult in this stage. Whether we approach it differently - I doubt it. The boss will brief us."

The UAE are ranked 74th in the world - 17 places below Australia.

Other teams in Australia's group are world No.113 Iraq, Thailand (120), Saudi Arabia (61), and Japan (49).

But Juric said it was wrong to expect the Socceroos would just waltz through their group.

"People think it's going to be a walk in the park for us. But it's definitely not," Juric said.

"Sometimes we face really hostile environments. It's really difficult - just the atmosphere they put on for us."

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