With seven losses in their past seven matches, including three in the World Cup, Ange Postecoglou’s side was keen for some joy in the lead up to hosting the Asian Cup.
It came in a hardly impressive performance that started well with Tim Cahill and Mile Jedinak scoring in the opening six minutes.
Hassan Muath’s penalty in the second half invited squeaky bum time for Postecoglou but debutant Bailey Wright restored the two-goal advantage.
Tayseer Al Jassim found the net late on to keep the Saudi side in the match.
Cahill’s opener came against the run of play on the back of a counter after the Saudi defence couldn’t manage to clear.
Crystal Palace’s Jedinak then made it two as he rose unmarked to head home a free-kick in front of 3,677 fans.
With Jedinak and Cahill substituted within 25 minutes of the restart, things got sloppy.
Keeper Mitch Langerak gave a penalty away after racing off his line following a defensive blunder.
But when the ball fell to Preston North End’s Wright six yards out he blasted home.
Al Jassim slid in on the back post to finish a late one to make it 3-2, but that was how it ended.
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