Tim Cahill Eliminates Syria From World Cup Qualification With Extra-Time Header

Clyde Nash
October 11, 2017

The 3-2 aggregate victory sends the Socceroos into an intercontinental playoff in November against the fourth-placed team in North and Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF) qualifying with a World Cup spot on the line.

One year, two months and 29 days after Syria began their qualifying campaign against Afghanistan, their hopes of reaching a first ever World Cup were finally ended against Australia in Sydney.

The Melbourne City midfielder's 50th worldwide 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.

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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. The 2-1 win wasn't always the prettiest but it will do the trick and continue Ange Postecoglou's coaching tenure.

A full match report is here, and video highlights are below.

Those days are long gone, and Cahill is now more of a squad player, but he remains the Socceroos' greatest big-game performer. I will run to the end for this manager and these players. Last week's first leg with Syria finished 1-1 in Malaysia.

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Australia midfielder Mark Milligan described the beleaguered national side as "outstanding", saying "they fought with everything" on the night.

Those combinations helped put James Troisi into the box to feed Cahill, but his right-footed finish was blocked by a defender's thigh with the goal beckoning.

When is Australia v Syria? In the end, it took superb crosses from Leckie and Kruse to allow Cahill to find the back of the net through trademark powerful headers from close range.

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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.

Other reports by Info About Network

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