Socceroos Advance to Intercontinental Play-Off

Tim Cahill (No. 4) gave Australia victory in the second half of extra-time.Tim Cahill (No. 4) gave Australia victory in the second half of extra-time.

Syria’s dreams of a World Cup debut was dashed by Tim Cahill’s aerial prowess as Australia’s record goal-scorer converted an extra-time header - his second of the match - to put his side into a play-off.

The Melbourne City midfielder’s 50th international 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.

Syria’s fairy tale looked like continuing when Omar Al Soma struck in only the sixth minute to give the war-torn nation a 2-1 aggregate lead at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

But Cahill soon equalized with a trademark header and, despite some resilient defending, he scored the winner with 11 minutes to go.

There was still time for one dramatic twist when Al Soma lined up a 28-meter free-kick in added time but his shot crashed against the post with the goalkeeper beaten.

So Australia booked a place in the intercontinental play-off against the fourth-placed CONCACAF side, which will be Panama, Honduras or the US.


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