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Cahill the hero as Socceroos see off Syria

Cahill the hero as Socceroos see off Syria”

Mark Milligan's stray pass in midfield was pounced upon by Tamer Haj Mohamad, who drove at the heart of the Australia defense.

Syria, who were hoping to qualify for their first-ever World Cup finals, went ahead in the game in the sixth minute when Omar Al Somah gave the civil war-torn nation an early lead.

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.

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.

Postecoglou says the 37-year-old is undoubtedly the country's best player in history and was amazed with the way he performed over 120 hard minutes against a stubborn Syria side, who nearly snatched an away-goals victory in the dying seconds through an Al Soma free-kick that hit the post. Those games will be played in November, with the victor of the home-and-home series landing a place in Russian Federation for the 2018 World Cup.

Order was restored just a few minutes later, when Socceroos captain Cahill netted his first of the night with a trademark header.

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Tim Cahill of Australia (left) celebrates with teammate after scoring against Syria during the match, played in Sydney.

The Asian champions were back on terms in 13th minute when Mathew Leckie broke down the right and delivered a pinpoint cross that 37-year-old Cahill headed home.

Postecoglou will instruct his players to attack the Syrians from the opening whistle, backed by a raucous home crowd hoping to see the Australians move a step closer towards the World Cup.

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

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

With one fixture left to fulfil, that'll either be Panama, Honduras or the United States.



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