Archie Thompson
Archie Thompson Getty Images

Thompson strikes for Socceroos

"WHO keeps telling me I'm old? Who keeps telling me I shouldn't be in the Socceroos? Who keeps telling me all us old boys shouldn't be part of the Socceroos?"

Those were the impassioned words of Archie Thompson, after he scored the winning goal in the World Cup qualifier against Iraq to ensure a 2-1 win in Doha yesterday.

Thompson's clincher came in the 84th minute after a superb header from Tim Cahill levelled the scores in the 80th minute.

But former Socceroo Robbie Slater stood by his fierce criticism of the national team after last month's shock 2-1 loss to Jordan.

"To come and say all they seem to do is cop criticism and they're too old, well Archie, sorry, we are too old," he told Fox Sports. "And we're not going to sit here ... and blow wind up people's backsides and say that everything is perfect. It's not."

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck was clearly relieved after the win, which, combined with Oman's 2-1 victory over Jordan put Australia second in Group B.

The next match is against Oman in Sydney on March 26. A win there would put Australia on the verge of automatic World Cup qualification