Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Aaron Mooy relegated to bench for crucial World Cup qualifier

Aaron Mooy relegated to bench for crucial World Cup qualifier

Tuesday night's Tim Cahill show gave the national team a 2-1 second-leg win over Syria that sealed the team's spot in an intercontinental play-off against the fourth-place team CONCACAF nation for a place in Russian Federation.

Veteran Socceroo Tim Cahill provided the brace (13', 109') that won the match 2-1 for the Socceroos after Syria opened the scoring just six minutes in. Eventually that goal came and it was that man again Cahill who was in the right place at the right time.

The goals in Sydney were the Socceroos captain and all-time leading scorer's 49th and 50th for his country and set up an Intercontinental Play-off against the fourth-placed team in the CONCACAF Zone.

Syria's star striker took two touches - one to cushion the pass, the second a fortunate bobble - before calmly drilling the ball high over Mathew Ryan in the Australian goal.

When all team cohesion seems lost - as it did against Syria - individual displays like Cahill's are about all they have. "I'm proud of everything we have done together".

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In the first leg of their two-legged Asian qualifying finals against Australia, the Syrians scored an unlikely late equalizer on a penalty. The players have had to fight all the way through qualifying and they believe in themselves.

Australia were given a boost early in extra time as Mahmoud Al Mawas was given a second booking by replacement referee Ilgiz Tantashev, prompting Postecoglou to throw on Tomi Juric to bolster the attack.

An injury to Brad Smith soon after saw Mooy brought on just a few minutes later, allaying whatever fuss was caused by Ange Postecoglou's selection.

However, the United States could yet finish fourth should they lose and one of Panama and Honduras win against Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively.

As some of the teams' biggest fans made their way to the match, they spoke to SBS about how they were feeling about the game.

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