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Cahill double ends Syria's World Cup dream as Aussies edge tense playoff

11 October 2017, 12:24 | Rose Hansen

Weakened Syria eye World Cup upset

Key men Tom Rogic and Tim Cahill will have big roles to play against Syria on Tuesday night

This Tuesday, October 10, 2017 (2:00 AM Pacific) Australia will host Syria at the Stadium Australia in Sydney for the second-leg of the fourth round of the AFC qualifiers.

Australia's Tim Cahill scored the equaliser in the 13th minute.

It's thought Postecoglou's tactical reshuffle is created to help the team move the ball quicker into the final third. After holding Australia to a 1-1 draw in the first leg, a spirited Syrian football team started the second leg vibrantly but submitted to a relentless Socceroos challenge and lost the game 2-1 in extra time.

Having edged past Syria 3-2 on aggregate over two legs, Australia will now take on the team which finishes fourth in CONCACAF, with the victor claiming a place at next summer's finals.

Australia dominated the remainder of the first half, with Syrian skipper Zaher Medani blocking a Cahill shot and goalkeeper Ibrahim Alma denying James Troisi and Leckie.

In the face of increasing Australian pressure, Syria held on to take the game to extra-time but they were soon down to ten men after Mahmoud Al-Mawas was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Who else but Cahill could come up with such heroics?

Australia is the clear favorite to earn a ticket to Russian Federation as the Oceanic side has qualified for the World Cup since 2006.

But, after 110 minutes, Australian stalwart Tim Cahill popped up with a 50th goal for his country to send the Socceroos through to the intercontinental play-off.

Ange Postecoglou dropped Aaron Mooy for this crucial clash but ended up needing Australia's key man.

Australia will now likely face either Panama or Honduras over two legs for a place at Russian Federation 2018 next summer. However, it was Milligan who turned over possession so cheaply for the home side when Al Soma stole in for the early goal.

However, the United States could yet finish fourth should they lose and one of Panama and Honduras win against Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively.

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