Football

Watch: 37-Year-Old Tim Cahill Rescues Australia's World Cup Hopes Twice!

Watch: 37-Year-Old Tim Cahill Rescues Australia's World Cup Hopes Twice!

No longer possessing the array of household names we once associated with Australian football, some things clearly haven't changed.

Having made his international debut for Australia in 2004, a 37-year-old Tim Cahill scored his 49th and 50th goal for the Socceroos in today's World Cup playoff against Syria.

The international interest in this fixture rested on the mixed feelings surrounding Syria's unlikely progression to this point.

An incredible underdog story or a misleading extension of a destructive regime, Cahill has invariably left that discussion redundant for the time being - it is Australia who have progressed here.

With the tie delicately poised at 1-1 after the first leg, it was the Syrians who took the lead in Sydney after only seven minutes.

With Tim Cahill essentially operating as a lone striker for Australia, the former Millwall and Everton man restored parity 6 minutes later - a smart header from Matt Leckie's cross.

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Yet, Syria were not for turning.

Digging in despite the increasing pressure from the home team, a successive 1-1 draw between the sides brought the tie to extra-time.

With the visitors seemingly holding out for penalties, their task was not made any easier when Mahmoud Al Mawas was sent off only a few minutes into the allotted 30.

Sensing their opportunity to exploit a tiring Syria (due to their internal conflict, Syria's 'home' fixture had taken place in Malaysia - it showed here), up stepped Australia's top-goalscorer one again.

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Yet another clever header from Cahill, his continual ability to spring so high from a standing start is all the more remarkable when we consider he turns 38 in less than two months.

Australia will now face one of Honduras, Panama or the United States to confirm their place in Russia next summer.

With the CONCACAF qualifiers coming to their conclusion tonight, Australia and Tim Cahill will not have to wait long before learning their fate.

See Also: Watch: Absolute Scenes As Irish Players Celebrate Incredible Win In Wales

Arthur James O'Dea

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