No short­age of drama as Soc­ceroos move a step closer to World Cup

NT News - - SPORT -

IT cer­tainly got tongues wag­ging dur­ing the week, didn’t it?

No, it wasn’t se­rial of­fender Nick Kyr­gios spit­ting the dummy in Shang­hai.

Nor was it the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing Night­cliff player Aisake O’hAilpin in the NTFL. It wasn’t the wet weather that marred the Bathurst 1000, Winx win­ning the Turn­bull Stakes, Jake Lever’s switch from the Demons to the Crows, po­lice ques­tion­ing Blake Fer­gu­son fol­low­ing a prank by a for­mer Roost­ers team­mate or the lat­est drama in the UFC.

Of course, it had to be the fall out fol­low­ing the win by the Soc­ceroos over Syria in the World Cup sec­ond leg play­off in Syd­ney.

The eyes of the na­tion were glued to the ac­tion at ANZ Sta­dium – which was only half full by the way – as the Soc­ceroos lived to fight an­other day.

Cer­tainly made for in­ter­est­ing view­ing when Syria hit the front on 1-0.

Like the Iran match back in 1997 at the MCG when they elim­i­nated the Soc­ceroos fol­low­ing a 2-2 re­sult, you had the feel­ing that his­tory may re­peat it­self when the Aussies led 2-1.

Thank­fully for Matt Ryan and his Aussie mates the ball struck the post and not the back of the net fol­low­ing a free kick to Syria to­wards the end of ex­tra time.

Un­like the eu­pho­ria of 2005 when the Soc­ceroos elim­i­nated Uruguay fol­low­ing a penalty shoot out, the at­mos­phere was rather flat at full-time on Tues­day night. Per­haps it was re­lief. Per­haps the Soc­ceroos and the Aus­tralian sport­ing pub­lic were also aware that there is one more hur­dle to ne­go­ti­ate be­fore seal­ing a ticket to Rus­sia.

Next up it’s Hon­duras. Af­ter shak­ing a stub­born Syria, we then hear that coach Ange Postecoglou wants to pull the pin af­ter the Hon­duras tie.

A num­ber of high-pro­file teams such as Chile, Hol­land, Ghana, Cameroon and the United States won’t be go­ing to Rus­sia. The Soc­ceroos are still alive as they strive to make the World Cup fi­nals for a fourth straight oc­ca­sion.

But the vibe on the street since Tues­day night has been mixed to say the least. Postecoglou’s bomb­shell af­ter the win over Syria hasn’t helped. And just imag­ine what would have tran­spired had the Soc­ceroos suc­cumbed to Syria?

Pic­ture: BOWLS AUS­TRALIA

Colleen Orr cel­e­brates be­ing the first Ter­ri­to­rian to win the Na­tional Cham­pion of Cham­pi­ons Lawn Bowls Tour­na­ment yes­ter­day

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