Away goals rule looms large for Socceroos


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    The Socceroos have had plenty of experience with World Cup playoffs, but one is looming larger than the others ahead of Wednesday night’s decider with Honduras.

    Across Australia’s six previous playoffs, only once did the Socceroos begin with an away draw.

    That was Iran in 1997, and no one in the national team camp needs reminding about how the home leg went.

    For two elder statesmen of the team – Tim Cahill and Mark Milligan – it was a formative football memory, and a tragic one at that.

    “I was just a young pup then,” Cahill said, “I remember it was a sad moment.”

    “We were a fully loaded squad then and it was heartbreaking not to qualify.”

    As they aimed to reach the 1998 tournament in France, the Socceroos took a 1-1 draw back from an away leg in Tehran with a FIFA-estimated crowd of 128,000 people.

    Goals from Harry Kewell and Aurelio Vidmar in the home leg at the MCG put one Australian foot into the World Cup, only for Iran to score two late goals through Karim Bagheri and Khodadad Azizi.

    The final result was 3-3, with Australia’s then 24-year wait to play at the World Cup lengthened by another four years due to the away goals rule.

    It’s a scenario that could play out on Wednesday night.

    The Socceroos inability to hit the back of the net means a score draw will send Honduras through on away goals.

    Milligan – who watched the Iran tie as a 12-year-old – said for that reason he didn’t see Australia as favourites to progress.

    “With the away goals (scenario), that’s why I say at the moment we’re on an even par with them coming into this match,” he said.

    “It’s still up in the air. At nil-nil coming back here no-one takes too much of an advantage from that.

    “We are doing all we can to put it in our advantage obviously with the way we prepare and way we recover and way prepare for a match.

    “We have a lot of systems in place so it is very important that we stick to that and going into Wednesday knowing it’s do or die.

    “We know our history and we know things that have happened previously but we’re paving our own path.”

    2017: Honduras
    Honduras 0-0 Australia, San Pedro Sula

    2005: Uruguay
    Uruguay 1-0 Australia, Montevideo
    Australia 1-0 Uruguay, Sydney (Australia won 4-2 on penalties)

    2001: Uruguay
    Australia 1-0 Uruguay, Melbourne
    Uruguay 3-0 Australia, Montevideo (Uruguay won 3-1)

    1997: Iran
    Iran 1-1 Australia, Tehran
    Australia 2-2 Iran, Melbourne (Iran won 3-3 on away goals)

    1993: Argentina
    Australia 1-1 Argentina, Sydney
    Argentina 1-0 Australia, Buenos Aires (Argentina won 2-1)

    1985: Scotland
    Scotland 2-0 Australia, Glasgow
    Australia 0-0 Scotland, Melbourne (Scotland won 2-0)

    1969: Israel
    Israel 1-0 Australia, Tel Aviv
    Australia 1-1 Israel, Sydney (Israel won 2-1)

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (44)

    • November 13th 2017 @ 5:53pm
      Waz said | November 13th 2017 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

      Oh look, an entire article on the away goal rule. Funny that, mention it elsewhere and you get shot down though ?

      • Roar Guru

        November 13th 2017 @ 6:43pm
        Ben of Phnom Penh said | November 13th 2017 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

        Angst has the hearts of the journalistic community in her cold hands.

        • Columnist

          November 13th 2017 @ 10:48pm
          Stuart Thomas said | November 13th 2017 @ 10:48pm | ! Report

          For a minute there I thought you wrote ‘Ange has the hearts of the journalistic community in her cold hands.’ At first I thought of Postecoglou, then I realised you meant Lansbury? I am so nervous about this one.

    • November 13th 2017 @ 5:58pm
      Caz said | November 13th 2017 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

      Someone better make sure Peter Hore is locked up for the full 120 minutes.

      • Columnist

        November 13th 2017 @ 10:49pm
        Stuart Thomas said | November 13th 2017 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

        Someone might also lock Peter Hellier up for a similar time period.

    • November 13th 2017 @ 6:11pm
      Nemesis said | November 13th 2017 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

      The Away Goals Rule loomed large in the play off against Syria.

      Australia’s Away Goal advantage last exactly 6 minutes in the 2nd leg.

      I cannot believe people are thinking 0-0 is a bad result for AUS & good result for Honduras.

      Honduras played their match at Home & did not win.

      That is failure based on The Common Sense Rule.

      Now, Australia gets to play its game at Home. If we don’t win, it will be Failure, again based on The Common Sense Rule.

      • November 13th 2017 @ 6:25pm
        Bob said | November 13th 2017 @ 6:25pm | ! Report

        Australia may regret the lack of an away goal, Milligan said he didn’t see Australia as favourites to progress “With the away goals scenario, that’s why I say at the moment we’re on an even par with them coming into this match,” you must respect the opinion of an international footballer? Or have you played international football and know better?

        • Roar Pro

          November 13th 2017 @ 6:43pm
          anon said | November 13th 2017 @ 6:43pm | ! Report


          It’s unlikely that Australia will keep a clean sheet for 180-210 minutes of soccer against Honduras.

          If Honduras score, Australia need 2 goals to go through.

          This team has struggled to score for 12 months.

        • November 13th 2017 @ 7:09pm
          Nemesis said | November 13th 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

          Fully agree with Milligan.

          Having watched Australia lose to Oceania nations, I never go in to any international thinking AUS is the favourite.

          But, I’d rather go into the home match having drawn 0-0 in the Away Match.

          Than lose the Away Match 1-0 as we did in 2005.

          • November 13th 2017 @ 7:32pm
            Bob said | November 13th 2017 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

            would it kill you to say you’d rather we drawn teh away match 3-3, 2-2 or even 1-1 rather than 0-0? That is what everyone is talking about after all

            • November 13th 2017 @ 7:43pm
              Nemesis said | November 13th 2017 @ 7:43pm | ! Report

              This is international football.
              These are WC Qualifiers.

              I am happy that we didn’t lose away.

              Everyone on this forum was predicting a loss in the away leg, and they were hoping it wouldn’t be a huge loss.

              • November 13th 2017 @ 8:24pm
                KJ said | November 13th 2017 @ 8:24pm | ! Report

                Precisely. This is what I don’t understand. All the talk beforehand was how we’d manage not to lose by too much.
                Then when we draw, it’s not good enough. I have no idea what to think sometimes.

                Of course it would’ve been better to draw 3-3 instead of 0-0. It also would’ve been better to win.

                Heck, if we won 1-0, there would’ve been people saying it’s not good enough, we should’ve won 3-0.

              • November 13th 2017 @ 8:40pm
                RBBAnonymous said | November 13th 2017 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

                I would have happily taken a 1-0 loss in Honduras. It would have been a reasonable result. Of course I am even happier that we didn’t concede in Honduras. Now we just have to win the game and we are through. We haven’t lost a World Cup qualifier at home in decades so we should be favourites to progress.

    • November 13th 2017 @ 6:35pm
      punter said | November 13th 2017 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

      Can someone please explain the away goal rule again, is an away goal worth double, if they score 2 do we have score more then 4. I think Timmy has at least 2 goals in him, Jedinak will always score a penalty & didn’t Luongo score in the Asian cup final, I sure between Luongo, Mooy, I’ve seen him score in the premier league, that’s harder then here, Rogic, Leckie scores in Germany & Kruse, there is 2 goals in there somewhere. I tip Australia to score in extra time like against Syria to win 5-2.

      • November 13th 2017 @ 8:26pm
        KJ said | November 13th 2017 @ 8:26pm | ! Report

        It’s only worth double if both teams have the same amount of points at the end of the home and away (thinking 3, 1, 0).

        If we win the game, away goals are not considered.

      • November 13th 2017 @ 9:10pm
        chris said | November 13th 2017 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

        Punter the easiest way to apply the away goals rule is you basically add 1 to your total in the away game.
        Example in the following scores:

        First Leg:
        Home team A 1
        Away Team B 1

        Away Leg:
        Home Team B 3
        Away Team A 3

        So since its a draw in both games, we need something to break that tie.
        And that is Team B wins 5-4 on away goals rule (Even though the aggregate is 4-4)
        Some people think you just double the goals you score away from home and thats not the case.

        And…you only do all of the above to break a tie.
        If you draw 5-5 in your away leg and then lose 0-1 in your home leg you don’t go through. Away goals rule does not come into play. I’m sure you knew this : )

        I hope I explained that ok

        • November 13th 2017 @ 9:25pm
          punter said | November 13th 2017 @ 9:25pm | ! Report

          KJ & Chris, sorry I do fully understand the away goals process. I was being sarcastic.

          I’m still struggling that people don’t appreciate 0-0 scoreline in the 1st leg.

          Yes I prefer a score draw, but most coaches would gladly accept a 0-0 1st leg & back their players to do the job at home.

          • November 13th 2017 @ 10:14pm
            chris said | November 13th 2017 @ 10:14pm | ! Report

            Apologies Punter and I agree with what you say

          • Roar Guru

            November 13th 2017 @ 11:06pm
            Grobbelaar said | November 13th 2017 @ 11:06pm | ! Report

            I just knew you were being mischievous!

          • November 14th 2017 @ 12:04am
            Fadida said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:04am | ! Report

            I always thought an away goal was worth 7, 8 if the game was on a Friday and the refere was called Nathan

    • November 13th 2017 @ 6:43pm
      Waz said | November 13th 2017 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

      Punter, maybe ask someone that follows European football, they’re very familiar with it.

      Meanwhile your Joe-average Aussie-Aussie-Aussie Oi Oi Oi Supporters are really struggling with the concept lol

      • November 13th 2017 @ 6:51pm
        Caltex Ten & SBS support Australian Football said | November 13th 2017 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

        The away goal is not worth double, it is 1.5 of a goal.

        • November 13th 2017 @ 6:58pm
          Waz said | November 13th 2017 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

          Yes, yes, yes very funny … an away goal is worth precisely one goal as you know (please don’t confuse the Oi Oi Oi brigade who have their tickets and are busily ironing their scarves in anticipation).

          In the event of a tie the team with the most away goals is awarded the win but the aggregate score stays the same 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 etc

          • November 13th 2017 @ 7:09pm
            Caltex Ten & SBS support Australian Football said | November 13th 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

            What is the state of the pitch, is Ange happy with the length of the grass? 1.5 cm cut should suit us technical wizards and 1 mm cut should suit H, fast and pacy on the counter. Oi Oi Oi…

            • November 13th 2017 @ 7:23pm
              Waz said | November 13th 2017 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

              The pitch is not, I repeat NOT, in Queensland …. that’s all that matters apparently

              There are some concerns the stadium might not be “rectangular enough” for some Oi Oi Oi fans, but I couldn’t comment …. I am in Queensland

              • Roar Guru

                November 13th 2017 @ 9:23pm
                Griffo said | November 13th 2017 @ 9:23pm | ! Report

                Ange is worried the monster trucks last month have ruined the pitch…

                …in other news ground staff say they’ve patched it okay and will mow it twice so it’ll be good enough 👿

              • Roar Pro

                November 13th 2017 @ 10:08pm
                anon said | November 13th 2017 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

                Ange with his pitch excuse. I think he has used it for every away fixture, the MCG in the middle of winter, most ANZ Stadium matches.

                He mustn’t realise he doesn’t play qualifier in Europe.

                In Asia, Ange!

            • Columnist

              November 13th 2017 @ 10:51pm
              Stuart Thomas said | November 13th 2017 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

              Has Adele been anywhere near it?

              • November 14th 2017 @ 12:05am
                Fadida said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:05am | ! Report

                Are you saying Adele is fat?

              • November 14th 2017 @ 7:24am
                Waz said | November 14th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

                who isn’t ???

              • November 14th 2017 @ 7:53am
                punter said | November 14th 2017 @ 7:53am | ! Report

                Play nice guys.

              • Columnist

                November 14th 2017 @ 10:33pm
                Stuart Thomas said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:33pm | ! Report

                No reply button on the comments below. As an ANZ membe I was very frustrated at the Adele concert that screwed our perfect surface last year. My wife attended and I still remind her of the damage she did. Certainly no reference to the woman’s weight, that would be insensitive.

    • November 13th 2017 @ 6:46pm
      Caltex Ten & SBS support Australian Football said | November 13th 2017 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

      The Honduras game plan will be to sit back and catch us on the break. It will be vital for us to get the first goal and then go on from there. I can’t see us falling for the same set of circumstances, which occurred against us when we played Iran. I hope that Idiot who tore down the nets in that fixture is well and truly locked up some where in jail.

      • November 13th 2017 @ 7:26pm
        Waz said | November 13th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

        agree. I’d hate to see us chase the game. We are capable of putting 3 or 4 past these guys as the first leg showed but being capable and doing it are poles apart for the Roos at the moment. They’ll also be a lot more physical as well. If they go one up they’ll start kicking lumps out of us.

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