Syria's World Cup hopes dashed after Tim Cahill strikes late to seal victory for Australia

Australia 2 Syria 1 AET (3-2 on aggregate): Tim Cahill scored both of the hosts' goals to book their place in next month's intercontinental play-off

Tuesday 10 October 2017 12:40
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Tim Cahill celebrates securing the winning goal against Syria
Tim Cahill celebrates securing the winning goal against Syria

Tim Cahill scored twice, including an extra-time winner, as Australia kept their World Cup hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over Syria in the second leg of the Asian play-off on Tuesday.

The 3-2 aggregate victory sent the Socceroos into an intercontinental play-off in November against the fourth-placed team in North and Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF) qualifying with a World Cup spot on the line.

Syria have defied all expectations to reach this stage of the qualification process 

Cahill scored Australia's opener with a trademark header in the 13th minute but it was not until 96 minutes later that he kept his country on course for a fourth successive appearance at the World Cup finals with his 50th international goal.

Syria made the perfect start when Omar Al Somah scored in the sixth minute to cancel out Australia's away-goal advantage from the 1-1 first-leg draw but the war-torn nation's dreams of securing a maiden World Cup appearance were dashed.

Reuters

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