Luongo's Australia through to final WC play-off

Adjust Comment Print

Firas Al Khatib believes that Syria's Road to Russian Federation came to an end because they were unable to beat Australia in the first leg of the Asian Play-offs after a 2-1 defeat in Tuesday's second leg saw the Socceroos advance to the FIFA World Cup Inter-Continental Play-off following a 3-2 aggregate scoreline.

Australia's Tim Cahill struck twice to end Syria's World Cup hopes in Sydney.

Neither side could tip the balance in their favour in normal time, but 37-year-old Cahill ensured Australia's progression with his 50th global goal.

Without five first-choice players through injury or suspension, they also had to play most of extra time with 10 men after midfielder Mahmoud Al Mawas was dismissed for two yellow cards.

Australia will now wait to discover who they will face in that Intercontinental Play-off, with their opponents set to be decided by this evening's CONCACAF qualifying fixtures.

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

More news: Angelina Jolie Offered To Serve As Bait For Wanted Ugandan Warlord

For a second we actually thought Syria could do it and watching the game play out on Twitter was almost as good as watching the game itself.

The match is level on 1-1 from the first leg. Omar Al Somah's left-footed strike into the roof of the net was cancelled out by Aussie skipper Cahill's 12 minute header into the bottom corner of the Syrian goal.

Another added: "Syria needs to qualify more than Australia because the Syrian people are sad and in need of joy".

Robbie Kruse chipped the ball back into the box after being found by substitute Aaron Mooy and Cahill leapt high above his marker to nod the ball past Alma's despairing dive.

Australia will now face CONCACAF's fourth-placed nation in a two-legged playoff in what will be the final obstacle on the road to Russian Federation.

On six minutes, a mistake from Mark Milligan allowed Tamer Haj Mohamad to play in Al Somah, who lifted his left-footed finish past Mat Ryan in the home goal.