Tim Cahill does it again for the Socceroos

Tricia Pearson
October 11, 2017

The war-torn country, managed by Ayman Hakeem, continue their unlikely march towards a maiden World Cup finals appearance with a 1-1 draw in the first leg meaning the tie is in the balance.

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.

Tim Cahill scored both goals on Tuesday as Australia defeated Syria, 2-1, in extra time to win the Asian playoff, 3-2 on aggregate, and advance to a second round of playoffs for a berth in Russian Federation 2018.

They were behind inside six minutes, in fact, when a stray Mark Milligan pass in midfield set up a Syrian counter-attack.

"The longer the game went on, we had a good stranglehold on it. The players showed tremendous character".

Aaron Mooy is a surprise benching for the Socceroos' vital World Cup qualifier against Syria.

"Timmy was Timmy, that's why he's the greatest ever".

The introduction of Syrian striker Firas Al-Khatib on the hour threatened to swing the momentum, but Ange Postecoglou's men maintained their dominance while squandering a series of scoring opportunities.

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"He's just got real belief in himself, a real unique and extraordinary individual and he led from the front today". The action at the ANZ Stadium starts at 11:00 CEST on Tuesday October 10th (2017).

Asian champions Australia are favourites to win the play-off after a late penalty earned Syria a controversial 1-1 draw in the first leg in Malaysia last week.

The crowd burst into victorious chants and celebrations.

As some of the teams' biggest fans made their way to the match, they spoke to SBS about how they were feeling about the game. But in a reflection of the massive divisions among Syrians amid an ongoing 7-year-old war, the country's World Cup run was opposed by many Syrians opposed to President Bashar Assad, who accused him of exploiting the team.

Where can I watch Australia vs Syria?

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. "At the end there are mistakes in soccer".

"I was very proud of our players. But you have to get on with the job and I did". I'd hazard to think when the last time he played 90 minutes was, let alone 120. "This is my passion". It took the veteran forward's worldwide tally to 49 goals.

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