Cahill Heads Australia Past Syria in Asian Playoff

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Russia logoThe peripatetic Tim Cahill came to the rescue of Australia in Sydney on Tuesday when he scored two goals — the second in the 109th minute — to send the Socceroos past Syria and into another playoff round against the fourth-place team from CONCACAF. The 2-1 extra-time victory came after a 1-1 draw in the first leg, which was played in Malaysia because of the on-going war in Syria.

Cahill, 37, the former New York Red Bulls player who also starred at Everton and eventually landed in China, is Australia’s career-leading goal-scorer (50) and is now playing for Melbourne City in the country’s A-League.

Syria played most of the extra periods a man down after Mahmoud al-Mawas was shown his second yellow card of the game in the 94th minute.

Australia advances to the next round of playoffs against either the United States, Panama or Honduras. Those games will be played in November, with the winner of the home-and-home series landing a place in Russia for the 2018 World Cup.

A full match report is here, and video highlights are below.