Captain Mile Jedinak inspires Caltex Socceroos to impressive victory over Honduras
A powerful second half spearheaded by captain Mile Jedinak saw the Caltex Socceroos see off Honduras 3-1 in their second leg intercontinental playoff in Sydney on Wednesday night to seal World Cup qualification for the Australians.
Australia ramped up the intensity in the second half to sweep aside a brave Honduran effort with Mile Jedinak scoring twice from set-pieces, while it was his free-kick that was deflected in, denying him a famous hat-trick.
STORY OF THE GAME
- Matt Jurman picked up a yellow card within the first two minutes and on the cusp of half-time Aaron Mooy went into the book, too.
- Full of energy, Honduras dominated the opening 10 minutes, pressing high and compressing the pitch.
- Australia's best chances falling to Cahill and Tom Rogic.
- 0-0 at the break with Honduras perhaps the happier of the two, though Australia had 72% possession.
- Rogic's mazy run was ended by a foul on the edge of the box and the resulting free kick hit the back of the net. 1-0 to the hosts.
- Australia was in the ascendancy and Cahill's fantastic header moments after the goal hit the bar.
- Australia sensed this was their time and after a handball in the box, captain Mile Jedinak held his nerve to make it 2-0.
- Honduras threw everything at Australia but they were tiring. An pacy Robbie Kruse rammed home the advantage, running into the box before a foul on him was swept home by the skipper to make it 3-0.
Figueroa (OG), Australia 53’: 1-0
Rogic's fabulous bursting run was ended on the edge of the box and with Mooy lurking, Captain Socceroo Mile Jedinak cleverly hit his free kick centrally and the deflection off Henry Figueroa beat the Honduras keeper.
Jedinak, Australia 71’: 2-0
Handball by Honduras' Bryan Acosta and Mile Jedinak did what he does - scores from the spot!
Jedinak, Australia 85’: 3-0
Sub Robbie Kruse burst through a tiring Honduras defence, he was brought down in the box and the skipper stepped up and smashed it home. Cue celebration time.
Figueroa, Honduras 92’: 3-1
Honduras bundled home a consolation goal from a corner.