Cahill: It was 'my duty' to win WC play-off

Cahill: It was 'my duty' to win WC play-off

Australia proved a step too far for Syria, as they crashed out of their World Cup qualifying tie 3-2 on aggregate, losing 2-1 on Tuesday.

The West Asians took an early lead as Omar Al Soma scored his third goal in as many matches, before Tim Cahill equalised shortly after and Australia then went on to dominate proceedings against a resolute Syrian backline.

One year, two months and 29 days after Syria began their qualifying campaign against Afghanistan, their hopes of reaching a first ever World Cup were finally ended against Australia in Sydney.

The first game will be played away in the week beginning the 6th of November, while the second leg will be at ANZ Stadium on the 14th.

Australia will next month face the fourth-placed team from the Concacaf section - now Panama - across two legs for a place at the World Cup.

Former Everton midfielder Cahill, now 38, restored parity seven minutes later, however, converting Mathew Leckie's pinpoint cross with a trademark header.

The only logical explanation for Mooy's omission could be the switch to a single holding midfielder in the starting XI, and Mark Milligan was given the nod in this role due to his defensive strengths.

Australia boss Ange Postecoglou described Tim Cahill as "a unique and extraordinary individual" after his two goals sealed their place in an intercontinental World Cup play-off. 1-1 - scores were back to equal and the game was back on.

It took extra-time and not quite penalties for Australia to get it done against a plucky Syrian outfit playing with their hearts on their sleeves.

Australia only needed a draw to qualify.

The away goal advantage was gone in an instant and Australia's woes soon compounded when Brad Smith went down with an apparent hip injury. Hakeem believes the fairytale run towards a place in Russian Federation has illustrated the underlying unity of a nation bitterly divided by civil war and trusts his players to take another step towards the goal against at Sydney's Olympic stadium.

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