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Sydney: Australia will qualify for a fourth successive FIFA World Cup if they can record a victory over Honduras in the second leg of their FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia Intercontinental Play-off at Stadium Australia on Wednesday.

The sides played out a hard-fought 0-0 draw in the first leg in San Pedro Sula on Friday to leave the tie perfectly poised ahead of what is sure to be a nervy night in front of expectant home support in the return fixture.


Just like in the Continental Play-off against Syria, Australia have returned to Sydney with a draw; however, despite the 0-0 stalemate undoubtedly being a satisfactory result, this time the Socceroos did not manage an away goal.

As a result, a score draw would see the visitors progress, although Ange Postecoglou’s team have won their past four competitive matches at home and will be confident of making that five as Stadium Australia gets set to host yet another huge night in the country’s footballing history.

The Socceroos' all-time leading scorer Tim Cahill was an unused substitute in the first leg as Postecoglou opted for caution following the forward's ankle injury, but the hero of the victory over Syria looks set to return to the starting lineup after declaring himself fit.

Once more, Aaron Mooy put in a superb performance in the first leg and the Huddersfield Town midfielder will take centre stage again on Wednesday, while there was also a battling display from returning captain Mile Jedinak, whose experience and knowhow will be crucial in the second leg.


Honduras travel to Sydney having not been beaten on the road in their past three competitive games, drawing with both Panama and Costa Rica and winning against Trinidad and Tobago as they finished off their CONCACAF qualifying campaign strongly.

La H will, however, need to improve in an attacking sense, having only managed one shot on target on Friday. Unless they are to progress via a penalty shootout, the Central Americans will need to score at least once in order to successfully navigate their way to Russia.

Romell Quioto has proven the man for the big occasion in the past, netting the winner against Mexico as Honduras confirmed their place in the Intercontinental Play-offs, and the attacking midfielder will be looking for a repeat performance in Sydney.

After missing the first leg, Alberth Elis is likely to return for the reverse fixture and the 21-year-old striker will be keen to add to the goals he scored in wins over Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago, while the experienced Emilio Izaguirre is rapidly approaching 100 caps and aiming for a third successive FIFA World Cup.

Australia vs Honduras
Venue: Stadium Australia, Sydney
Kick-off: November 15, 20:00 UTC+11

Photos: Lagardère Sports & AFP