What the Soc­ceroos must do to qual­ify

The Northern Star - - SPORT -

THIS is it.

Tonight, the Soc­ceroos host Hon­duras for one of the last places left at the 2018 World Cup in Rus­sia.

The sides re­turn from San Pe­dro Sula locked at 0-0 af­ter a tight, tense clash at Es­ta­dio Olimpico.

The Soc­ceroos en­joyed the bet­ter of the chances, and will still be won­der­ing how Bai­ley Wright was not awarded a penalty in the first half af­ter be­ing struck from be­hind by the home team’s goal­keeper.

While it was a great out­come not to con­cede a goal, the ques­tion now is, will the missed op­por­tu­ni­ties to snare a pre­cious away goal cost the side at ANZ Sta­dium in Syd­ney?

Al­though the Hon­durans were un­der­whelm­ing at home, on a soggy pitch, and Aus­tralia has the ad­van­tage of the ex­tra day’s re­cov­ery on the ground in Syd­ney, the fact re­mains Hon­duras are still one goal away from throw­ing a span­ner in the works. AWAY GOALS

Any­one still be­liev­ing the myth that an away goal is worth dou­ble, throw that idea out now.

If Aus­tralia win 2-1, 3-2, etc, the Soc­ceroos progress. Away goals are a tiebreaker. If it is an­other 0-0 at 90 min­utes, the game will go into ex­tra-time.

That is the only sce­nario that will mean ex­tra-time.

This is the one dis­ad­van­tage of play­ing at home in the sec­ond leg: away goals still count in ex­tra-time.

If it is a score draw of any na­ture, Hon­duras will progress on away goals.

AUS­TRALIA v HON­DURAS ANZ Sta­dium, tonight 7pm (AEST)

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