Tim Cahill's extra-time goal keeps Australia's World Cup hopes alive but ends war-torn Syria's fairytale bid to reach the finals for the first time.
SHOWS: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (OCTOBER 10, 2017) (AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION - Broadcasters: NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA Digital: NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA .COM.AU INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS / AUSTRALIAN NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM .AU / NEWS.COM.AU) 1. AUSTRALIAN AND SYRIAN FANS IN FRONT OF STADIUM 2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIA SOCCEROOS COACH ANGE POSTECOGLOU SAYING: "I don't know, why do we have to make it so hard? It shouldn't be that difficult for us but look, I'm immensely proud of the players and the staff who worked awfully hard to make sure we were ready for our 120 minutes of football and you know, it was, you know, we left it late and like I said we had to work awfully hard but I think we deserved to get through and the players showed tremendous character and as I said, I'm immensely proud of them." 5. AUSTRALIA SOCCEROOS PLAYER, TIM CAHILL SPEAKING TO MEDIA 6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIA SOCCEROOS PLAYER TIM CAHILL SAYING: "You know, that was meant to happen and we deserved it. I feel that it was a tough game but we believed and we knew that it was going to go to the end and it's a great feeling to win because we've worked so hard to be where we are today and it finished with the right result." 7. AUSTRALIAN AND SYRIAN FANS IN FRONT OF STADIUM STORY: Tim Cahill scored an extra-time winner to keep Australia's World Cup hopes alive with a 2-1 win in the Asian qualifying playoff on Tuesday (October 10) which dashed war-torn Syria's fairytale bid to reach the finals for the first time. Syria fought right until the end of the 120-minute match and Omar Al Somah could have secured their passage on the away goals rule at the death, only for his brilliantly struck free kick to hit Mat Ryan's right post and bounce away. The Syrians had battled the odds to even get into the playoff, having been forced to play all their "home" matches in Malaysia because of the civil war in their own nation. Without five first-choice players through injury or suspension, they also had to play most of extra time with 10 men after midfielder Mahmoud Al Mawas was dismissed for two yellow cards. Cahill scored Australia's opener in the 13th minute but it was not until 96 minutes later that he notched up his 50th international goal to keep alive his country's hopes of a fourth successive appearance at the World Cup finals.