Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Australia and Syria into extra time in World Cup playoff

Australia and Syria into extra time in World Cup playoff

Ryan McGowan has replaced Bailey Wright in Australia's squad ahead of this week's return leg against Syria in the AFC region's FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off.

After last week's 1-1 draw in Malaysia, Australia won 3-2 on aggregate to reach a final playoff against the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF federation, now Panama.

Locked at 1-1 (and 2-2 on aggregate) since early in the first half, Australia had been constantly frustrated throughout regular time, and through much of extra-time, before Tim Cahill rolled back the years with a headed victor to put the Socceroos through to a November play-off against North and Central America's fourth-best team.

"That's what I've done my whole life and I'll continue to do it".

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

The visitors, without five first-choice players through injury or suspension, had made the ideal start in the sixth minute to cancel out Australia's away goal advantage from the 1-1 first leg draw.

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When is Australia v Syria?

An injury to Brad Smith soon after saw Mooy brought on just a few minutes later, allaying whatever fuss was caused by Ange Postecoglou's selection.

Syria occasionally threatened on the break but seemed happy to sit back and hold out for extra time, with Rogic twice denied by Alma and watching another effort deflected inches wide.

Omar Al Somah scored in the first leg for SyriaWill the tie go to extra-time and penalities if it is a draw?

Robbie Kruse finally carved out the decisive chance in the 109th minute when his perfectly weighted cross to the far post found Cahill, who headed it into the top left-hand corner to the delight of the majority of the 42,136 crowd.

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