Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Australia beats 10-man Syria in World Cup play-off

Australia beats 10-man Syria in World Cup play-off

Tim Cahill scored twice, including an extra-time victor, as Australia kept their World Cup hopes alive with a nervy 2-1 victory over Syria on Tuesday.

Australia will now face the fourth-placed CONCACAF nation in next month's inter-confederation play-off.

"I knew I was going to score, I didn't touch the ball much but in the end I delivered", said Cahill, who has played at the last three World Cups.

Syria had a man sent off early in extra time, though, and were eventually undone when Cahill powered home Robbie Kruse's cross for his 50th global goal.

Syria, a fairy tale team in Asia's World Cup qualifying story, were literally inches away from progressing at Australia's expense, even down to 10 men.

Postecoglou's concerns threatened to deepen when Brad Smith had to go off injured, with Mooy introduced in his stead, but the Socceroos breathed a sigh of relief with 12 minutes played when Cahill headed in a brilliant Mathew Leckie cross from the right.

After falling a goal behind to an early strike from Omar Al Soma, up popped Old Man Cahill to restore parity roughly five minutes later, nodding home from close range by capitalising on some shoddy marking (or complete lack thereof) from the Syrian centre-backs... A goal for al Soma would have levelled the aggregate at 2-2, but put Syria through on the away goals rule.

Like this: