Cahill brace keeps Socceroos alive in World Cup qualification race

Scott Pryde Roar Guru

49 Have your say

    A pair of goals from Tim Cahill – one in the 13th minute as an equaliser, the other in extra time, the 109th – has kept the Socceroos’ hopes of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup alive.

    Australia will advance to the inter-confederation play-off in November, but it was far from easy.

    Despite having 25 shots, with 11 of them on goal, it took an extra time cracker from Cahill to bring them the win. They seemed to be a step slow in their passing all game, while Syria were happy to have eight or nine back on defence.

    Omar Al-Soma gave Syria the first goal in the sixth minute, but the visitors weren’t able to add another. Their defensive mindset was part of the problem, but at 1-all, they had the chance to get the match to penalties.

    It seemed that was their plan – to frustrate the Aussies and launch counter attacks, which was how the big striker Al-Soma got them on the scoreboard.

    Cahill’s first goal came off a superb header in the penalty area off a well-delivered cross, with no more scoring for the remainder of regulation time, as Australia were continually frustrated by Syria’s tactics.

    Matthew Leckie and Mark Milligan both picked up yellow cards though, which will rule them out of the first leg of the inter-confederation play-off.

    Just four minutes into extra time, the game was flipped on its head by Mahmoud Al Mawas being shown a second yellow card. It reduced a fatigued Syria to ten men, but Australia struggled to find any rhythm. Their attacking moves were broken down as the visitors continued to defend and counter.

    Their defensive luck ran out on the other side of the extra-time break though. Aaron Mooy put a cross in, and Cahill put another header into the corner of the net, just getting past the outstretched Ibrahim Alma.

    Australia managed to defend their lines, somewhat shakily for the next eight minutes, but gave away a free kick right on the 120-minute mark. Al-Soma stepped up, looking to send Syria to the World Cup on away goals, but hit the post, with the Socceroos holding out for the remaining two minutes of injury time.

    The Aussies will find out at 11am (AEDT) on Wednesday which of the United States of America, Panama or Honduras they will play in a final, do-or-die, two-leg decider in November.

    The USA, playing Trinidad and Tobago, are favourites to receive the remaining direct qualification spot alongside Costa Rica and Mexico.

    Panama are currently sitting in the pivotal fourth position, but only because they have a goal difference advantage over Honduras. Panama will face Costa Rica, while Honduras face Mexico, with both at home.

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (49)

    • October 10th 2017 @ 10:44pm
      Johnno said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:44pm | ! Report

      The heart attack Roos somehow got an escape tonight but boy it was close… They have to improve…

    • October 10th 2017 @ 10:50pm
      TK said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:50pm | ! Report

      You gotta hand it to the Socceroos – doesn’t matter who’s coaching they are THE ENTERTAINERS. Thanks to whoever shot Brad Smith from the stands to get Mooy on the field.

      So when Timmy retires – then what?

      And where’s the next game in Aust? Has it been sold off yet – bet it won’t be suncorp.

      • October 10th 2017 @ 10:59pm
        Nico said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:59pm | ! Report

        Melbourne of course, FFA doesn’t believe in sharing socceroos qualifiers around outside Sydney/Melbourne, great to see another packed house in Sydney tonight btw

        • October 10th 2017 @ 11:07pm
          hogdriller said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:07pm | ! Report

          Don’t think it’s just the FFA Nico…..the Qld labor govt are simply not interested in football in Qld, by that I mean the big games anyway.
          Only interested in NRL.

          • October 11th 2017 @ 12:00am
            Nico said | October 11th 2017 @ 12:00am | ! Report

            FFA has always had a Sydney/Melbourne focus so it’s easy to see why QLD Govt wouldn’t be in a rush to step up the funds. Adelaide Oval isn’t looking too bad these days and didn’t get a look in for these playoffs either

            • Roar Guru

              October 11th 2017 @ 12:24am
              AdelaideDocker said | October 11th 2017 @ 12:24am | ! Report

              Yeah, I’d love to have one of these games down here! I’d be the first to get a ticket!

        • Roar Guru

          October 10th 2017 @ 11:08pm
          Scott Pryde said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

          It’s in Sydney – they announced the potential location at the same time as ANZ for the Syrian game.

          • October 10th 2017 @ 11:52pm
            Brian said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:52pm | ! Report

            Poor when they only got 42k. Mcg would have had over 70k

            • October 11th 2017 @ 7:50am
              chris said | October 11th 2017 @ 7:50am | ! Report

              Really? You obviously havent been paying attention.

      • October 11th 2017 @ 7:00am
        marron said | October 11th 2017 @ 7:00am | ! Report

        When Timmy retires….. maybe we don’t have to rely on Kruse so much for aimless crosses?

    • October 10th 2017 @ 10:55pm
      Basil said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:55pm | ! Report

      3 points…
      Timmy is a superstar.
      The other guys just can’t finish.
      Sydney fans just don’t turn up.

      • October 10th 2017 @ 10:58pm
        TK said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:58pm | ! Report

        Almost Haiku there Basil.

        • October 10th 2017 @ 11:17pm
          Griffo said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:17pm | ! Report

          I counted 6-8-7. Needs some work.

          • October 10th 2017 @ 11:41pm
            TK said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:41pm | ! Report

            Most players can’t score a goal
            Timmy is a star
            Fans can’t fill a stadium

            • Roar Guru

              October 11th 2017 @ 8:46am
              The Barry said | October 11th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

              Haha…brilliant! ?

      • October 10th 2017 @ 11:27pm
        Johnno said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:27pm | ! Report

        It was a Tuesday night though which is inconvenient for sydneysiders…

    • October 10th 2017 @ 11:06pm
      Jack said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:06pm | ! Report

      What a stressful match.

      Honduras are a top shelf World Cup quality side. Should be an even more stressful two days of football.
      I guess this is what it’s all about

    • October 10th 2017 @ 11:08pm
      BennO said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

      Never mind Cahill, that cross for his first goal was outstanding! Perfectly placed and he bent it like Beckham.

      I should know because I watch soccer once every four years so don’t try to tell me it was run of the mill.

    • October 10th 2017 @ 11:15pm
      Griffo said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:15pm | ! Report

      Not sure about Kruse playing on the left. His left foot crosses just don’t hit the mark, except for that one in the 109th minute. That was pretty good.

      • October 10th 2017 @ 11:19pm
        Gavin R said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

        Not sure about Kruse at all.

        • October 10th 2017 @ 11:53pm
          Brian said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:53pm | ! Report

          90% of anything seemed to fall down because of a Kruse or troisi bad touch

    , , ,