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Jedinak the hero as Australia qualifies for their fourth consecutive World Cup

The Socceroos have qualified for their fourth consecutive World Cup finals like never before, defeating Honduras 3-1 in a game of epic proportions at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

A strong line up took to the field in what may have been Ange Postecoglou's last game in charge of the national squad, and they did not disappoint.

While the opening half remained scoreless with shots few and far between both sides, the hosts were led by the inspirational Mile Jedinak to secure the result in the second half thanks to a deflected free kick and two coolly taken penalties towards the death.

Despite some positive signs from the Central Americans, Honduras were unable to stamp their mark as the Socceroos played efficiently and left it all on the pitch.

Australia ran at the ball with intent and made the challenges that we needed to force our authority, but questions still remain over execution, demonstrated by Rogic's spectacularly scuffed shot inside the penalty area.

The opening stanza was a good reflection of the first leg result, the Socceroos defensive line addressed Honduras' counter attacking and kept the speedy forwards at bay, much unlike the first leg.

Australia maintained the lion's share of possession but failing to make opportunities count while Honduras showed some flashes of brilliance and potency on the counter attack but also failing to convert the few chances they had.

Early signs of the intent were shown when Alberth Elis clashed with the Socceroos defenders twice, along with Matt Jurman's yellow card in the 3rd minute. Both sides were not going down without a fight.

The numbers at halftime showed a much different flow to the second leg, a monstrous 73% possession and 4 goal attempts summing up the calculated approach. During the halftime talks, Postecoglou emphasised the importance of composure on and off the ball and the rest would fall into place.

Australia's patient game began to take effect as the Hondurans began to tire and show signs of frustrations. Highlighted by a whopping 26 total fouls given away, composure was the difference maker as the Hondurans sloppy challenges let the game slip away from the Central Americans.

A brilliant run by Tom Rogic set up a perfect opportunity right on the edge of Honduras' penalty area, and captain Mile Jedinak stood up to take the free kick. A slight deflection, the net bulged, and the Socceroos had lift off.

The Hondurans continued to show slack defending to give away the two needless penalties late in the match and seal the Socceroos' Road to Russia. A long, gruelling road to the World Cup takes a mountain of patience to get there, and the Socceroos delivered exactly what the doctor ordered.

After the game Mark Milligan said the squad is deserving of a World Cup after having taken the toughest route to make it.


The sentiment was shared by Ange Postecoglou, who gave credit to his family and friends for bearing part of the responsibility he had as the national team coach.

While issues and questions of execution, squad selections and formations still plague the squad and Ange Postecoglou, the victory is still just as sweet.

Former World Cup winners Italy couldn't do it, South American champions Chile cruelly bowed out, World Cup runners up Netherlands stumbled at the final hurdle.

Australia stand up, your Socceroos will be competing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia!

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

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