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Syria vs Australia

FIFA World Cup - 2018 Qualifiers - Asian Region - Round 4 - Match 1
Syria vs Australia
at Hang Jebat Stadium, Melaka, Malaysia on 2017-10-05T12:30:00
Score: 1-1 (0-1)
Scorers: Robbie Kruse (40')
Official Info: Socceroos
Previous Match: Australia vs Thailand

Once again, the Socceroos were left ruing missed chances. We dominated the first half and should have had the game wrapped up by the break. Instead we lead by a solitary goal. Syria improved and probably had the better of the last 30 minutes. However they only got on the score sheet thanks to a penalty that can charitably described as soft. 1-1 the final score.

The match is reminiscent of our last group game against Thailand, where we created enough chances to earn direct qualification but missed out due to wastefulness. It also harks back 20 years to the 1-1 draw with Iran, that was deemed a good result at the time, until the 2-2 disaster at the M.C.G.

We're back in Sydney on Tuesday for a must-win match that we should take care of comfortably. But with our wastefulness in front of goals, I'm tipping another nail-biter.

Should we get through to the next round, our chances have improved somewhat overnight, with the U.S.A. comfortably accounting for Panama to climb into third spot. Other results and the remaining matches suggest Panama or Honduras should finish fourth - a much easier tie than the U.S.A.