Australia Ends Syria's 2018 World Cup Journey

Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring the Socceroos second goal during the World Cup Asian Playoff match against Syria

Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring the Socceroos second goal during the World Cup Asian Playoff match against Syria

Australian midfielder Mark Milligan said: "The next round will be a different match, we will have a different challenge on our hands".

Cahill cancelled out Omar Al Soma's shock opener before heading in a 109th-minute victor to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory and become the first player to reach 50 worldwide goals for the Socceroos.

Australia will now likely face either Panama or Honduras over two legs for a place at Russian Federation 2018 next summer.

Ahead of tonight's crucial fixture against Syria, Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has reportedly moved star midfielder Aaron Mooy to the bench. Taking a break from the raging war, millions of Syrians at home and overseas cheered, shouted and bit their nails in frustration as they watched their chance to qualify for their first ever World Cup tournament end in disappointment Tuesday.

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Syria, a fairy tale team in Asia's World Cup qualifying story, were literally inches away from progressing at Australia's expense, even down to 10 men.

"Timmy was Timmy, that's why he's the greatest ever".

Who else but Cahill could come up with such heroics?

Cahill, formerly of Everton and now of Melbourne City, rose to strike again in the 109th minute, getting up above his man to thrust yet another header past Ibrahim Alma in the Syrian goal...

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Syria's fairytale was nearly revived when Al Somah crashed a last-minute free-kick against the post but it wasn't to be and Australia progressed to the play-offs.

"I'm proud of everything we have done together and how we can help kids watching to follow their dreams".

The civil war-torn nation had made an unlikely journey to the qualifying round just before the play-off's, and carried hope into the tie after a 1-1 draw in the opening leg.

However, the United States could yet finish fourth should they lose and one of Panama and Honduras win against Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively.

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

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