When it comes to these make-or-break FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, every little detail counts.
The first leg 1-1 draw between the Caltex Socceroos and Syria in Melaka ensures both nations have everything to play for in the return leg in Sydney on Tuesday night.
The winner at Stadium Australia keeps their hopes of getting to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia alive, the loser faces an agonising four year wait.
When the margins are so tight and the stakes so high, any little advantage you can get must be capitalised.
And Ange Postecoglou’s troops have the benefit of playing the second leg in front of their home fans at Stadium Australia.
But we have to make the advantage count!
The Sydney Olympic Park venue has been the scene of so many memorable nights for the Caltex Socceroos in the past, from the 2015 AFC Asian Cup final to THAT night against Uruguay 12 years ago.
While replicating the pulsating atmosphere from November 16 2005 is hard to do, there’s no denying this clash with Syria is just as important.
If Australia is to be playing among the world’s best in Russia next year, they simply must prevail on Tuesday night.
A clash of this scale demands a boisterous atmosphere and jam-packed stadium to help get the boys over the line.
The fans have the potential to be Australia’s 12th man.
There’s no doubt when close to 80,000 fans are driving the team on for 90 minutes, it has the ability to not only intimidate the opposition but provides a major boost for the boys in gold.
As a former Caltex Socceroos skipper said before a big qualifier in Sydney years ago: “When you have a full house driving you on, that proverbially sucks the ball into the back of the net”.
So while the players are sure to do their part to beat Syria and progress, the fans can have a big role to play as well.
It’s time for the fans to again deliver a wall of noise that envelopes Stadium Australia and inspires the team to greatness.
Every little detail counts.
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