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Tim Cahill rescues Australia and shatters Syria's World Cup qualification dream

Tim Cahill rescues Australia and shatters Syria's World Cup qualification dream

The score stayed level after 90 minutes, sending the pivotal game to extra-time after Syrian goalkeeper Ibrahim Almeh made a series of spectacular saves during the match.

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

The Syrian dream of their first ever World Cup appearance was shattered in the second half of extra time in Australia when Tim Cahill headed in his second goal of the match with 11 minutes remaining.

Australia now advance to the Intercontinental play-off where they are likely to face one of Panama or Honduras for a place in Russian Federation next summer.

Some argue that Syria should not have been allowed to compete because of political interference and others have argued that Syria competing and doing well normalises the situation and makes it seem like everything is fine.

In far better conditions than the two teams had encountered in the first leg in Malaysia - a hard pitch allied to humid weather - many had written Syria off before a ball had been kicked in Sydney.

"What they (FFA) is doing is trying to be as professional as possible", Postecoglou said.

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When is Australia v Syria?

Victory in that fixture would secure Australia's passage to a fourth consecutive World Cup after a tumultuous qualification process.

In the first leg of their two-legged Asian qualifying finals against Australia, the Syrians scored an unlikely late equalizer on a penalty.

For the next 30 minutes Al Hakim fumed in his technical area until the full-time whistle blew and he was free to let loose on Ange Postecoglou.

The United States, Panama and Honduras, the three nations who could provide the opposition in the intercontinental playoff, play their final qualifiers later on Tuesday.

However, the Aussies were unable to find a victor in normal time - despite Syria being reduced to ten men in stoppage time - before Cahill scored his second header of the match to put Australia through. With our respect for your national team and country.

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