Tim Cahill rescues Australia and shatters Syria's World Cup qualification dream

11 October, 2017, 00:28 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Energy-sapping Tomi Juric gets a shot away despite the attentions of Hadi Almasri in the World Cup play-off Malacca

Tuesday night's Tim Cahill show gave the national team a 2-1 second-leg win over Syria that sealed the team's spot in an intercontinental play-off against the fourth-place team CONCACAF nation for a place in Russian Federation.

If the Socceroos succeed, they will face the fourth-place team from the CONCACAF region to determine if they can qualify for the World Cup.

Syria have never reached the World Cup and their hopes suffered a massive blow when Mahmoud al-Mawas was sent off for a second bookable offence in the fourth minute of extra-time.

MASSIMO Luongo's Australia are through to the next round of Federation Internationale de Football Association 2018 World Cup qualification following an extra-time win against Syria. "Five key players is a big loss for us but we trust the players we have".

It took another incisive run from Cahill, powering home his 50th global goal from Robbie Kruse's cross to finally give Australia the edge, as he has so often has in an worldwide career spanning 103 games.

Who else but Cahill could come up with such heroics?

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Australia was dominant by a mile as they controlled more than 75% of the ball possession and completed at least 4 times more passes than Syria. His defence has been particularly badly hit but Hakeem believes the never- say-die attitude his team have shown throughout qualifying will enable them to hold out the Asian champions.

"I'm not sure the charter flight is an option for this one, but you can certainly can see out there it helped us in terms of our recovery processes".

And while that sounds positive, Australia still needed to step up the intensity to ensure it progresses with certainty.

Socceroos boss Postecoglou took a huge risk by benching his best player in Aaron Mooy for this crucial qualifier.

For the next 30 minutes Al Hakim fumed in his technical area until the full-time whistle blew and he was free to let loose on Ange Postecoglou.

Unsurprisingly Australia immediately looked more settled, as the Huddersfield talisman calmed the midfield and linked up with an eager Robbie Kruse on the left. With our respect for your national team and country.

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