Mile Jedinak hat trick helps Australia book 2018 World Cup spot

From ESPN - November 15, 2017

Australian skipper Mile Jedinak has fired the Socceroos to a fourth-straight World Cup, scoring a double in a 3-1 defeat of Honduras.

An hour of anxiety gave way to euphoria at ANZ Stadium after the Socceroos finally found a way past their playoff opponents.

But after 22 matches in 27 months on the Socceroos' marathon road to Russia, what's 60 minutes to wait?

Jedinak's deflected free kick and pair of penalties overcame Honduras, providing vindication at long last for Ange Postecoglou's tactical toil.

The Socceroos' captain fantastic was imperious once more despite coming into camp without a full match in five months.

A scrambled injury time reply from Alberth Elis was no concern for Australia. Postecoglou became the first Australian to steer his country to a World Cup, even if doubts linger as to whether he will take the team there.

On Wednesday night, Honduras set out to stymie Australia, with a five-man defence and go-slow orders from coach Jorge Luis Pinto from the first whistle.

Postecoglou struck a frustrated figure on the bench as Australia set about unpicking the Honduran lock.

Interplay between Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic looked promising, but it took 37 minutes before the Socceroos first threatened.

Tim Cahill's trickery allowed Aziz Behich to cut back for Rogic, only for the Celtic man to mis-time his shot.


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