Summary of two leg World Cup Qualifier
Postecoglou chose to stay with his new formation consisting of three at the back in the crucial away leg against Honduras. It’s not an easy place to go to with regards to travel. The Socceroos played well controlling most of the game. They went into the game without four regular choice players; Milligan, Leckie, Kruse and Cahill. The crowd was noisy with the sound of vuvu zellas reverberating around the ground. The best chance of the bench fell to Juric who failed to finish a golden opportunity. To be fair the ball did bobble on the pitch making it difficult for Juric to add a much rewarded end product to the Socceroos dominance of the first leg away from home. All that was missing from the performance was a finished product. Risdon whipped in a pinpoint cross, to no avail. Unfortunately, there was no one there to finish off his industrious work on the right flank; He found a pocket of space and got into the right channel.
The Socceroos controlled the game early in the second leg without threatening to score. Ominous signs early. Honduras had a solid shape and were pressing high up the pitch, making it difficult for the Socceroos. Honduras defended bravely in the first half of the home leg for the Socceroos. There were no combinations in the final third for the Socceroos in the first half. They weren’t getting in the right pockets or and into dangerous channels. Mooy was a standout in the first half with some exquisite crosses. The game was all square at nil nil at half time!
The start of the second half was more of the same. Everything changed in the fifty fourth minute when Jedinak took a brilliant free kick that got deflected in for an own goal against the Hondurans. Then Cahill made an intelligent header that hit the bar. The tie was still in the balance at one nil due to the away goals rules. In the seventy second minute Jedinak took a penalty kick that the Socceroos earned and just creeped past the Honduran goal keeper. Kruse then won another penalty and Jedinak showed great composure to give the Socceroos a seemingly unassailable lead in the eighty fifth minute. Honduras got a consolation goal in the last minute of stoppage time. The game was watched by 77,060 people. Can the Socceroos go far in Russia? Time will tell.
Also published on Medium.