Football Alive

Australia vs Syria (2nd Leg) Preview

It’s do or die for the Socceroos and the Quasioun Eagles! Football Alive provides a thorough preview of a crucial clash for the Socceroos. Enjoy our article and make sure you’re cheering on the Roos!

Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia

When: Kick-Off 8:00pm AEST

TV: Live from 7:00pm AEDT on Fox Sports 501 and 7:30pm AEDT on 9Go!

Odds: Australia $1.36, Draw $4.50, Syria $10.00 (Sportsbet)

Weather: It’ll be a mild Spring night in Sydney, expected temperature of 18° at KO

Tickets: Get your tickets here! 



Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak, Danny Vukovic, Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Matt Jurman, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Bailey Wright, Mustafa Amini, Craig Goodwin, Jackson Irvine, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, James Troisi, Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Nikita Rukavytsya

Form (from most to least recent)

D 1-1 v Syria (A – Malacca, Malaysia)

W 2-1 v Thailand (H)

L 0-2 v Japan (A)

D 1-1 v Chile (Confederations Cup)

D 1-1 v Cameroon (Confederations Cup)

The first leg was a game of two halves, but the Socceroos are raring to ensure there’s no second half fadeout here at home. Ange rested several key players in Malaysia, and it worked with his side securing a draw and a valuable away goal. Expect Tom Rogic to create plenty of chances, and to be the key playmaker for the Roos, especially with Aaron Mooy starting on the bench. It’s unlikely Ange will tinker with the back three, but Jackson Irvine is in line for a start in midfield. Leckie will likely start as the right wing back, with potentially Craig Goodwin on the left. The Sparta Rotterdam man has been in scintillating form for his club side, and is also fresh after not featuring in Malaysia. He could hold the key to turning defence into attack for the Roos. Up front, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Tim Cahill has been a Socceroos stalwart for nearly 15 years, and with Tomi Juric putting in a big shift in Malaysia expect Timmy to lead us out tonight in his hometown. Timmy thrives on the big occassion, and will be lethal tonight with proper service. His aim will be to close out the game prior to his inevitable second half substitution, and who would bet against him to do so?



Ibrahim Alma, Mahmoud Al-Youssef, Ahmad Madania, Moayad Ajan, Alaa Al Shbli, Hadi Al Masri, Jehad Al Baour, Gabriel Somi, Amro Jenyat, Mahmoud Al Mawas, Osama Omari, Fahd Youssef, Youssef Kalfa, Tamer Haj Mohamad, Hamid Mido, Zaher Midani, Khaled Al Mobayed, Oday Al Jafal, Israa Hamwiah, Omar Khribin, Omar Al Soma, Firas Al Khatib, Mardik Mardikian

Form (From most to least recent)

D 1-1 v Australia (H – Malacca, Malaysia)

D 2-2 v Iran (A)

W 3-1 v Qatar (H – Malacca, Malaysia)

D 1-1 v Iraq (H – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

W 2-1 v Malaysia (A – Malacca, Malaysia)

Syria are missing three key players tonight – defender Hadi Al Masri, midfielder Khaled Al Mobayed and striker Omar Khribin – all of whom started in the first leg. Expect Syria to take tonight’s game slowly, physically and defensively, especially if they can poach a goal on the counter. Team capitain and talisman Firas Al-Khatib will play a big role tonight, after being rested during the first leg. He knows that Syria’s chances will be few and far between, so the Socceroos’ defence can expect to have their hands full with him whenever the Syrians are on the counter. It remains to be seen whether Swedish-based left back Gabriel Somi will be deployed in this match. His pace could be a crucial weapon for Syria as they seek to exploit the Australian defence.


In front of a parochial home crowd, the Socceroos should be too good for Syria. It won’t be easy, as Syria prepare to sit back and make the most of their counter attacking chances. Al-Khatib will be a constant danger man, but if Trent Sainsbury is on his game (and he ussually is for the national team), then he’ll struggle to find room upfront. A resolute Mark Milligan in midfield will go a long way to keeping Syria at bay too. He is unlikely to suffer as much punishment tonight, with experienced referee Ravshan Irmatov at the helm (two-time World Cup referee and Referee of the Year 2015). Tom Rogic will be crucial for the Socceroos, feeding the wing backs and Timmy up front. On the biggest of occasions, Tim Cahill should be lethal for Australia. The stage is set for him to score twice, reaching 50 national team goals, before he is substituted. Leckie and Goodwin on the wings should give the Syrian fullbacks plenty of headaches all night too, with one of them adding a late goal to seal the result.

Syria 3-1 Australia

The Qualification Equation

If, at full time,…

…Australia are leading, then the Socceroos will progress to the inter-confedertaion playoff against the 5th placed CONCACAF side (likely Panama, but it could be Honduras or the USA)

…Syria are leading, then the Quasioun Eagles will progress to the playoff

…it’s scoreless, then Australia will progress to the playoff on the away goals rule

…it’s a high scoring draw (2-2, 3-3, 4-4…) then Syria will progress to the playoff on the away goals rule

…it’s 1-1, then extra time (and potentially penalties) will follow to determine who progresses to the playoff

Highlights of the First Leg

Syria 1-1 Australia


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