Socceroos v Syria Review
A brace from Tim Cahill gets the Socceroos out of the jail in the second leg of their qualifying playoff against a gallant Syrian ten-man Syrian outfit. He notched his fiftieth goal for the national team. He was pivotal in the Socceroos qualifying to the next stage of the qualifying process.
Postecoglou made a few changes from the last game in Malaysia. Controversially he dropped Josh Risdon and Aziz Behich, the two attacking wing backs to the bench. The most surprising change he made was to drop key playmaker Aaron Mooy to the substitute bench. An early Syrian goal in the sixth minute to Omar Al Soma set the cat amongst the pigeons. There was an injury early on in the encounter to Brad Smith. Postecoglou astutely brought on Mooy for Smith. The Socceroos hit back shortly after Mooy’s introduction. There was a pin point cross from Matthew Leckie that was finished off by you guessed it; Tim Cahill! Cometh the man cometh the moment! A collective sigh of relief could be felt throughout Australia. Coincidentally Cahill hit the scoreboard in the thirteenth minute! Who says thirteen isn’t a lucky number?
Kruse showed great endeavour, but was offside on a couple of occasions. He moved out to the left flank following the loss of Smith. Leckie had a golden opportunity saved brilliantly by the Syrian keeper Ibrahim Almeh in the thirty first minute. Unfortunately for the Socceroos they had two important players yellow carded for the second time in the qualifying process, meaning that Leckie and Miligan should miss the next game of the qualification away from home against a CONCACAF opposition.
Mooy continually posed a danger on the Syrian half making several incursions. Troisi was brought off surprisingly for Nikita Rukavytsya in the seventy third minute. Troisi played a crucial role in the Socceroos winning the Asian Cup in a tight encounter. Although he didn’t make much of an impact tonight, he is in my opinion one of the most dangerous players in the final third. There was a sense of inevitability that they game would go to extra time and in an anti climax it did.
Syrian player Mahmoud Al Maowas was shown a second yellow card early in stoppage time which meant that Syria were down to ten men. Eventually the Socceroos broke the dead lock through guess who? Tim Cahill! From there on in it seemed certain that the Socceroos would win. Until in stoppage time of extra time Al Somar had a chance to score from a free kick, he gave his best shot. He hit the post! The Socceroos survive! They are through to the next stage of qualification.