Socceroos thrash Syria at Sydney's ANZ Stadium in World Cup play-off

Leader Tim Cahill

The anger in Ayman Al Hakim was bubbling well before Tim Cahill's head finally put their ambitions to bed in the 109th minute.

In an agonising blow for Syria, Al Soma hit the post in the final moments of extra time with Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan soundly beaten.

Neither side could tip the balance in their favour in normal time, but 37-year-old Cahill ensured Australia's progression with his 50th worldwide goal.

"When I play, I know the defenders are going to be scared, not because I'm Tim Cahill but because of my presence and what I give", said the Melbourne City man, who will turn 38 in December.

The first match between the two teams ended in a 1-1 deadlock and the victor of this game will get a place to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

In the last five matches, Australia has won one match against Thailand, lost one match against Japan and three matches ended in a draw with Syria, Chile, and Cameroon.

"I'm not sure the charter flight is an option for this one, but you can certainly can see out there it helped us in terms of our recovery processes".

The move was a huge gamble given the Huddersfield Town man was the standout in last week's opening-leg 1-1 draw. Fortunately for him, the negative impact of this gamble was short lived.

Tamer Haj Mohamad dispossessed Mark Milligan in midfield and he fed Al Somah, who outpaced the Australian defence and planted the ball high into the net with his left foot.

For the next 30 minutes Al Hakim fumed in his technical area until the full-time whistle blew and he was free to let loose on Ange Postecoglou.

It took extra-time and not quite penalties for Australia to get it done against a plucky Syrian outfit playing with their hearts on their sleeves.

The Socceroos will take on one of USA, Honduras or Panama over two legs in November with the victor earning the right the World Cup Finals in Russian Federation next year.

The Syrian team has been on a remarkable run despite being forced to play all its games in other countries.

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