Hat-trick hero Jedinak fires Australia into World Cup

Lynette Rowe
November 16, 2017

Were very grateful were going to another World Cup, ” Jedinak said.

It leaves the crowd likely to exceed a massive 80,000, with the capacity of the ground 83,500.

Captain Mile Jedinak led the way with a second-half hat-trick as Australia brushed aside Honduras 3-1 in the second leg of their inter-confederation playoff to secure a place at next year's World Cup finals in Russian Federation on Wednesday.

Honduras, who had been held to a 0-0 draw in the home leg last week, had been bidding for a third successive World Cup appearance but offered little in attack until Alberth Elis's stoppage-time goal earned the visitors some scant consolation.

The qualifier kicks off at 8pm AEDT.

Luongo dropped to the bench for the second leg in Sydney and watched from the sidelines as Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak netted a hat-trick to send the Socceroos to Russian Federation. “(There was) A lot of talk leading into this and make no mistake, this group deserves everything they get.”.

Aston Villa midfielder Jedinak broke the deadlock on 53 minutes with a deflected free kick before adding another goal with a penalty and then clinching his treble with a second spot kick.

Jedinak added another PK in the 85th minute, this time when Robbie Kruse was undoubtedly fouled in the box by Johnny Palacios.

Tom Rogic Australia v Honduras celebration

But Jedinak did make the occasion safe when slotting home a penalty on 72 minutes, following a handball from Bryan Acosta.

While the lead gave supporters reason to be nervy given the disaster that unfolded against Iran 20 years ago when the Socceroos were ahead by the same margin only to see a heartbreaking comeback crush their World Cup dream, there was to be no repeat of that horror show.

"I'm not trying to duck it but I watched the game and went to bed and I've not actually heard it from Tim himself", Joyce said on Thursday morning.

"Australia were very strong and aggressive and put pressure on us and tried to neutralise us", Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto told reporters.

Escober was on hand once more eight minutes from the interval to keep out a drilled Tom Rogic strike from an Aziz Behich cutback - the hosts dominating possession but creating few goalscoring opportunities.

"To help my country qualify for four World Cups is something I will be proud of when I get older.even older", said Cahill.

"Its not just the results, it's the way we've gone about it".

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