Australia 2 Syria 1 (aet, 3-2 agg)

Leader Tim Cahill

Australia defeated Syria 2-1 in Sydney.

Veteran Socceroo Tim Cahill provided the brace (13', 109') that won the match 2-1 for the Socceroos after Syria opened the scoring just six minutes in.

It started with Mahmoud Al Mawas' second yellow card for a challenge on Robbie Kruse, reducing Syria to 10 men for most of extra-time.

Syria's dreams of securing a maiden World Cup appearance were dashed.

"It doesn't matter who we play next".

Those combinations helped put James Troisi into the box to feed Cahill, but his right-footed finish was blocked by a defender's thigh with the goal beckoning.

Rogic had several chances to score and played for much of the game.


The Melbourne City midfielder's 50th worldwide goal came in the 109th minute to finally break the resilience of their opponents, who were reduced to 10 men in the first additional period, the Telegraph reported.

However, Al Soma's free-kick struck the woodwork in added time and Australia advanced as Syria's remarkable run was finally brought to a halt. 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 proud of everything we have done together".

The move was a huge gamble given the Huddersfield Town man was the standout in last week's opening-leg 1-1 draw.

"I don't know why we have to make it so hard - it shouldn't be that difficult for us", Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said.

An injury to left-back Brad Smith after just five minutes later rather fortuitously saw Mooy enter the fray perhaps earlier than anticipated, but at a goal down Postecoglou surely realised he had no choice but to introduce the Huddersfield midfielder. Socceroos will face one of the team in the United States, Panama or Honduras in the final playoffs.

As some of the teams' biggest fans made their way to the match, they spoke to SBS about how they were feeling about the game.

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