Sport

Socceroos draw first leg in Honduras

Socceroos draw first leg in Honduras”

A MAN of the match display from Massimo Luongo helped Australia secured a 0-0 draw against Honduras in the Federation Internationale de Football Association 2018 World cUp play-off match on Friday evening.

Australia will be chasing a fourth successive World Cup qualification, and Honduras a third, when the team's match-up in Sydney on Wednesday.

The Socceroos' display will give coach Ange Postecoglou, whose future is unclear, plenty of confidence that his team can reach Russian Federation 2018 ahead of the second leg in Sydney on Wednesday.

But the game deteriorated late, eventually fizzling out to a scoreless draw that helps Australia more than Honduras.

Australia dominated and had four shots on target to one but simply couldn't make them count in San Pedro Sula, with striker Tomi Juric fluffing the two best opportunities of the game.

Both flanks appeared the most likely outlets for a Socceroos opener, but there were fewer openings in the final half-hour.

There was also controversy in the opening stanza when Argentinian Néstor Pitana gave a penalty for a foul on Bailey Wright inside the penalty box but overturned it due to an offside call from his linesman.

Eight minutes into the second half Juric saw Escober acrobatically turn his close-range header over the bar.

The Socceroos took momentum to the break, and carried it on into the second half.

The draw sets up a huge clash on Wednesday night when the Socceroos will again square off against Honduras at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

The victor at the Allianz Stadium will progress to the World Cup Finals in Russian Federation this summer.



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