Football

World Cup 2014: Australia secure qualification

Kennedy scored the all-important winner (©GettyImages)
Kennedy scored the all-important winner (©GettyImages).

It was a high-pressure night in Sydney at the ANZ Stadium: after Australia kept their World Cup hopes in their hands with a 4-0 victory over Jordan, a win against Iraq was an absolute must if they were to be guaranteed a place in Brazil.

Before the end of the 90 minutes in Australia, Oman were anxiously awaiting the result in hope that it would go in their favour so they were still in for a chance at second place. They were just behind the Socceroos in the final group stage by one point on nine with Australia on 10 and ready to pounce on any mistakes.

Had Australia not won and Oman beat Jordan later in the day, they would have finished third and have to play in two play-off games against the Group B third-placed team - and only by beating them would they have proceeded to the play-off against South America's fifth-placed side.

The Socceroos were surprisingly lenient throughout the game as they did create chances but nothing that looked too threatening.

With time running out and some grim faces around the ANZ Stadium, it was not looking good as they became frustrated at their lack of finishing. The crowd went in shock as the unthinkable happened and boos were heard everywhere after Australia's miracle man Tim Cahill was substituted off on 78 minutes.

Although it seemed like a big mistake to take Cahill off, his replacement Josh Kennedy sent an absolute roar around the stadium as he brilliantly rose up to head in a Mark Bresciano cross with just seven minutes remaining  - sending his country to their third consecutive World Cup in his first Socceroos appearance after 19 months.

Congratulations Australia, your party can begin!

 

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Topics:
Internationals
World Cup
Football

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