Syria's World Cup dream painfully comes to an end

Leader Tim Cahill

Leader Tim Cahill

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.

The victor of the playoff will face the fourth-placed team in CONCACAF (currently Panama) in a two-leg contest to secure a spot at next year's World Cup. "Five key players is a big loss for us but we trust the players we have".

Syria take a heavily depleted squad to Australia for the second leg of the Asian qualifying play-off on Tuesday.

However, two Tim Cahill goals meant that the dream came to an end in an unfortunate fashion.

Having equalised so quickly, Australia seemed to take confidence that they could successfully take control of the game and did so, but struggled to prize open the Syria defence.

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.

What Time & TV Channel Is the Cowboys-Packers Game on Today?
Or last year's divisional round playoff loss when Rodgers set his team up for the game-winning field goal as time ran out. Prescott threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, an 11-yard option-play keeper that set up Rodgers's final drive.

With the visitors seemingly holding out for penalties, their task was not made any easier when Mahmoud Al Mawas was sent off only a few minutes into the allotted 30. "I'm proud of everything we have done together".

With the CONCACAF qualifiers coming to their conclusion tonight, Australia and Tim Cahill will not have to wait long before learning their fate. Postecoglou said. "He's got real belief in himself".

Unsurprisingly Australia immediately looked more settled, as the Huddersfield talisman calmed the midfield and linked up with an eager Robbie Kruse on the left.

However, the United States could yet finish fourth should they lose and one of Panama and Honduras win against Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively.

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.

The Syrian team has been on a remarkable run despite being forced to play all its games in other countries.

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