Heartbreak For Syria As They Lose Out On 2018 World Cup

Starter's chance Socceroos legend Tim Cahill is likely to start the World Cup play-off second leg against Syria

Australia has made it through to the last stage of qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation thanks to a Tim Cahill double against Syria at ANZ Stadium. The action at the ANZ Stadium starts at 11:00 CEST on Tuesday October 10th (2017).

"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.

Mahmoud Al Mawas was shown the red card in 94th minute as a 10-man Syria fell prey to Tim Cahill's second goal of the game.

The Syrian national football team was up against Australia, against whom they drew 1:1 in the first leg of the game last Thursday.

The nation had been forced to play their home games in Malaysia throughout the qualifying process, security concerns having hampered any prospect of hosting games back in their own country.

The Melbourne City midfielder's 50th global 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.

"I will run to the end for this manager and these players", Cahill said.

After the sending off it was a matter of when, not if, Australia would take the lead.

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Who else but Cahill could come up with such heroics?

As penalties beckoned, Robbie Kruse sent over a cross from the byline and Cahill out-jumped his marker to power a header past the diving Ibrahim Alma.

Arguably Australia's greatest player, nobody has scored more for the Socceroos than Cahill. It was Al Somah's third goal in his past three qualifiers.

Even so, the Aussies came within centimetres of disaster when an Omar Al Somar free kick hit the woodwork with only seconds on the clock.

"It's been our longest-ever World Cup campaign".

A final two-legged playoff tie with the fourth-placed team from CONCACAF awaits, with Panama or Honduras the most likely opponents.

The 2018 World Cup's first game will feature hosts Russian Federation on June 14 in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

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