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Australia 2 Syria 1 (aet, 3-2 agg)

Australia 2 Syria 1 (aet, 3-2 agg)”

Firas Al Khatib believes that Syria's Road to Russian Federation came to an end because they were unable to beat Australia in the first leg of the Asian Play-offs after a 2-1 defeat in Tuesday's second leg saw the Socceroos advance to the FIFA World Cup Inter-Continental Play-off following a 3-2 aggregate scoreline.

The Socceroos were expected to make short work of the team ranked 75th in the world following last week's first leg, which was held in Malaysia and ended in a 1-1 draw.

Syria fought right until the end of the 120-minute match and Omar Al Somah could have secured their passage on the away goals rule at the death, only for his brilliantly struck free kick to hit Mat Ryan's right post and bounce away.

Al-Hakim said the rank outsiders would have survived until penalties against Australia if al-Mawas hadn't been sent off for a second bookable offence early in the first extra period.

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The 37-year-old Cahill delivered again for Australia with both goals in a dramatic 2-1 extra-time win over Syria on Tuesday that clinched the Asian playoff series 3-2 on aggregate.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Asia - Syria vs Australia - Olympic Stadium, Sydney, Australia - October 10, 2017 - Australia's Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring the winning goal. Latching onto a cross from Hertha Berlin's Mathew Leckie, the 37-year-old planted his header into the bottom corner for his 49th global goal.

Who else but Cahill could come up with such heroics?

Mark Milligan's stray pass in midfield was pounced upon by Tamer Haj Mohamad, who drove at the heart of the Australia defense.

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There would be further drama as Syria hit the post in the 121st minute with a free-kick but Australia managed to hold on to book their place in the tournament in Russian Federation. "I'm proud of everything we have done together". Postecoglou said. "He's got real belief in himself".

Manager Ange Postecoglou had been forced into a change in the 11th minute, having to bring Aaron Mooy - a shock bench starter - into the fray for the injured Brad Smith.

The Socceroos will take on one of USA, Honduras or Panama over two legs in November with the victor earning the right the World Cup Finals in Russian Federation next year. With our respect for your national team and country.

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