Sports

Cahill Heads Australia Past Syria in Asian Playoff

Cahill Heads Australia Past Syria in Asian Playoff

Overcoming odds The odds were stacked against the Syrians throughout the third round of Asian qualifying but, despite having to play their "home" matches in Malaysia because of security concerns in Syria, they managed to battle into the playoff.

Tamer Haj Mohamad dispossessed Mark Milligan in midfield and he fed Al Somah, who outpaced the Australian defence and planted the ball high into the net with his left foot.

Tim Cahill and Australia will now take on the fourth place in CONCACAF team in a two-legged playoff to determine who goes to Russian Federation.

Some argue that Syria should not have been allowed to compete because of political interference and others have argued that Syria competing and doing well normalises the situation and makes it seem like everything is fine.

Syria's fairy tale looked like continuing when Omar Al Soma struck in only the sixth minute to give the war-torn nation a 2-1 aggregate lead at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

The victor goes forth to the inter-confederation play-offs to qualify for the World Cup.

"What they (FFA) is doing is trying to be as professional as possible", Postecoglou said.

More news: Twitter blocks Senate candidate from advertising false claim about Planned Parenthood
More news: Cancer victim gives Nick Kyrgios higher goal in life
More news: Gyamfi replaces Ibrahim as Starlets take on USA

The first match between the two teams ended in a 1-1 deadlock and the victor of this game will get a place to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Cahill starting up front in place of Tomi Juric could be said to have been vindicated by his equalising header and eventual victor, but throughout regular time the Socceroos missed the structure Juric would have brought to the attacking line.

An equaliser came just moments later, however, as a sublime cross from Mat Leckie found the head of Cahill, while Aaron Mooy's freakish omission was swiftly corrected following an injury to Brad Smith.

Who else but Cahill could come up with such heroics?

And while that sounds positive, Australia still needed to step up the intensity to ensure it progresses with certainty.

An injury to left-back Brad Smith after just five minutes later rather fortuitously saw Mooy enter the fray perhaps earlier than anticipated, but at a goal down Postecoglou surely realised he had no choice but to introduce the Huddersfield midfielder. The Aussies will face the fourth-placed side in the "Hex", with USA, Panama or Honduras all potential opponents for them next month.