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Socceroos player ratings: Cahill brace keeps Australia's path to Russia open

October 10, 2017 2:01 PM
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Socceroos player ratings: Cahill brace keeps Australia's path to Russia open

Australia took another important step towards qualifying for their fourth consecutive World Cup after a Tim Cahill brace secured 2-1 win at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday.

Ange Postecoglou's men endured a horrific start after the in-form Omar Al Soma burst behind the hosts' defence to open the scoring, before a pair of goals from Tim Cahill in the 13th and 109th minute helped the Asian Champions claim a 3-2 win on aggregate.

The Qasioun Eagles had their chances, however, most notably with Al Soma striking the upright off a freekick in the dying stages of extra time.

Mat Ryan - 5: Could do very little to stop an in-form Al Soma from scoring. Was composed in his handling as Syria had a flurry of late chances but was a spectator apart from that.

Matthew Jurman - 6.5: Chipped in with another stellar performance at the back and did his bit to thwart Syria on the break. Was composed playing out from the back as well.

Trent Sainsbury - 5: Poor positioning allowed Al Soma to run onto Mohamad's through ball to open the scoring. However, he played his part in defence as they kept Syria at bay for much of the match.

Milos Degenek - 5.5: Was guilty of giving away several fouls in dangerous positions in the opening 45 minutes and came off second best against Mardkian in the second half. Made a fantastic last-ditch tackle on Al Soma in the dying stages to deny the attacker an attempt on goal.

Brad Smith - N/A : Was handed a start but only lasted 11 minutes before being forced off with an injury.

Mark Milligan - 5: Endured a lacklustre start to the match as a horrible pass led to Syria's opener six minutes in and his night went from bad to worse after picking up a yellow card for a rash challenge on Mardkian just prior to the break. Was markedly improved throughout the second half and extra time, making some important interceptions in the process.

Tom Rogic - 7: Was at the heart of the Socceroos attack, showcasing his wide-ranging ability as he drifted past players with ease, dictated play with the ball, and made intelligent runs into space off it. Had a few chances to put the Aussies in front but was by far the team's most dangerous player. Substituted in the 98th minute.

James Troisi - 4.5: Lively and got in good positions, but his poor first touch and average passing often let him down. Was withdrawn in the 73rd minute.

Mathew Leckie - 7.5: The 26-year-old was threatening throughout at right wing-back and, more importantly, placed the ball on the platter for Cahill's equaliser. Could have added to his Socceroos tally too although a first-half yellow card put a dampener on his performance and will miss the Socceroos' next fixture.

Robbie Kruse - 7.5: Adventurous down the left-flank but found himself caught offside on a number of occasions. His final product was also relatively poor and was probably too cute with the final pass when he ought to have been more selfish.

Tim Cahill - 9: The Socceroos' all-time top-scorer, who was handed the armband, led from the front, heading home the equaliser after a quarter of an hour from the back-post. And as he has done so often in his career, rose highest to give the Aussies the lead off a Kruse cross in the 109th minute.

Aaron Mooy - 6.5: Came on for Brad Smith after the wing-back was withdrawn due to injury and proved to be a crucial cog with the Aussie's link-up play in midfield with clever balls behind Syria's defence. Had a few chances to score too.

Nikita Rukavytsya - 5: Brought on to replace James Troisi. Played his part in stretching Syria's defence on the left wing with some dangerous runs into the box although his link-up play in the final third was lacklustre.

Tomi Juric - 5: Replaced Tom Rogic in extra time and had a tame shot well-saved by Alma after a slaloming run down the middle.

Source: goal.com

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