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Syria's World Cup Dreams Were Shattered In A Nail-Biting Qualifier Against Australia
11 Octubre 2017, 01:10 | Bibiana Flor
Australia vs Syria: how and where to watch: times, TV, online
So noticeable, in fact, that the Socceroos' midfield - now controlled by Mooy - linked up two minutes later with the only person Australia has consistently counted on throughout its past three World Cup qualifying stages, Tim Cahill, to score the team's second goal and save the day.
Australia will next month face the fourth-placed team from the Concacaf section - now Panama - across two legs for a place at the World Cup.
The victor of the play-off will face the fourth-placed CONCACAF federation team, now Panama, over two legs for a place at Russia 2018. Although the Syrian players lost the race to secure a World Cup 2018 berth, but with their commendable performances throughout the qualifying rounds they will be going back home with their head held high. Eventually that goal came and it was that man again Cahill who was in the right place at the right time.
"He's got an global record that will stack up against the best in the world, and he keeps doing it".
Aaron Mooy's omission after a superb performance in the first leg was cause for alarm, with the opportunity to play for a World Cup berth at stake.
Cahill was already planning his run into the box when Tom Rogic unleashed Mat Leckie, who placed a flawless arcing cross on a platter for the 37-year-old to head home with trademark gusto for goal No.49. Cahill, who turns 38 in December, got the nod to lead the line while Brad Smith, who endured a torrid time against Japan at the end of August, and James Troisi also started. Extra time was inevitable.
With no further goals in the 90 minutes the game went to extra-time and, after Mahmoud Al Mawas was dismissed for his second bookable offence, Australian pressure finally paid off as Cahill headed home in the 109th minute to break Syrian hearts.
With an extra man, Australia were able to find the space and time to pick out Cahill for yet another victor, this time played in by Kruse in the 109th minute.
"Timmy was Timmy and that's simply why he's the greatest ever", Postecoglou said.
"It doesn't matter who we play next".
"The first goal was a small mistake, not a major mistake, and the second goal was because we had 10 players", he added.
A man down and with penalties looming, Syria upped the time-wasting antics as Australia rallied, Rukavytsya very almost put a volley in at Alma's near post.
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