What the Socceroos must do to qualify
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.