Syria’s hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup is over after Tim Cahill’s extra-time header saw Australia progress 3-2 on aggregate to the final qualifying tie.
The Melbourne City star cancelled out Omar al-Soma’s opener in the first half before he leapt to head Socceroos’ precious second goal in the 109th minute for a 2-1 win in the second leg at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday.
Syria, who drew 1-1 in the first leg, had a man sent off early in extra time following Mahmoud Al Mawas’ for a second bookable offence.
“I knew I was going to score, I didn’t touch the ball much but in the end I delivered,” said Cahill as it was quoted by ABC News after the game.
It was the closest place in history for Syria to World Cup finals and their impressive performances during the qualifying campaign gained massive respects and praises.
They had to play all their ‘home’ qualifiers in Malaysia because of the security situation in their war-torn nation and still managed great results.
Australia will now play either Panama, Honduras or the United States from the CONCACAF zone for a place in the final stage in Russia next year.