Few feelings compare to those felt during a match which dictates whether or not you will be appearing at a World Cup. For Australia, a tense encounter with Honduras was billed. In reality, they landed on home soil and dispatched the visitors with ruthless care. From pitch side, the party unfolds.

For the opening ten minutes of this game it looked like Hondurans were going nowhere without a battle. A free flowing series of waves of attack crashed on the Australian defence in the opening quarter though having held their line well, they were able to lock in and let loose with resilient effect. Getting through those opening exchanges was probably the foundations that the hosts thrived on in Sydney. Bottling up the energy they faced coming at them and propelling it right back, whether it was a game plan or pure adrenaline, it worked. All square at the break, it was the second half when the net felt the significance of the tie.


Charging out for the second half with fresh vigour, it was the 53rd minute when an own goal gave Australia the lead - a well taken free-kick which deflected off Figueroa. It wasn't the way anyone would want to get on the scoresheet, but after that the game was theirs. Into the 70th minute and a handball inside the Honduras box meant Jedinak was able to step up and double the lead which was soon followed by another goal from the spot just 15 minutes later. Although the travelling Hondurans managed to get a goal back in the 92nd minute, Australia already had this one in the bag.


Cue the celebrations and a sea of gold and green as the final whistle blew. This is a side who have earned their place in Russia the hard way. Of course special mention goes to Tim Cahill as he looks set to enjoy his fourth World Cup tournament. Hondurans can be disappointed having not capitalised on the home advantage in the first leg and with attempt after attempt blocked, the odds were not in their favour on this time around. The re-build for them starts here though the Australian party heads on.

Photography by Thatfootballphotog