Former Everton forward Tim Cahill was the hero for his Australia side as he netted a brace to end Syria’s World Cup hopes in their playoff tie.
Australia and Syria had played 1-1 in the first leg ahead the former’s home leg but It was their less fancied guests who took a shock lead through Omar Al Somah’s 6th minute strike. Tim Cahill soon restored parity for the hosts seven minute later and thereafter seized control of the game.
The Syrians defended stoutly until fulltime meaning they had to opt for extra time to separate the two teams with scores at 1-1. The minnows were however dealt a crucial blow with four minutes of extra time gone when Mahmoud Al Moawas was given his marching orders after two yellow cards.
Tim Cahill thereafter scored his second goal to edge Australia 2-1 ahead but the Syrians could have taken the game into penalties but Al Somah’s freekick hit the post as Australia ran out 3-2 winners on aggregate.
Australia have now qualified for the CONCACAF/AFC playoff and will meet USA, Panama or Honduras.