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 By Jason Dasey

Socceroos need to keep Ange, make harsh decisions for 2018 World Cup

Jason Dasey and Gary Phillips assess what Australia must improve upon ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

After the longest qualifying campaign in their history, Australia secured their place in a fourth consecutive World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Honduras in their second-leg playoff in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Over 22 games, dating back almost two-and-a-half years years, the Socceroos may have looked unconvincing on occasions. However, they did show resilience to negotiate trips to far-off places like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and hold their nerve in four playoff games.

AustraliaAustralia
HondurasHonduras
3
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 1
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But to be competitive...

Fit-again captain Mile Jedinak helps Australia seal World Cup qualification

Tim Cahill talks the importance of Mile Jedinak to Australia despite his countless injuries.
Mile Jedinak's second-half hat-trick booked Australia's place in Russia at the expense of Honduras.
Australia's Mark Milligan discusses the tough journey to qualify for a fourth consecutive World Cup.

SYDNEY -- Australia booked their place at the 2018 World Cup after a convincing 3-1 win over Honduras in Sydney on Wednesday night. Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak was the hero for the hosts, scoring all three goals for Australia, including two from the penalty spot.

Here are three thoughts from the match.

1. First half bore, second half score

Is that harsh on the first 45 minutes? Perhaps Australia's endeavour was on show for a few moments in the first half, with golden chances for Mathew Leckie...

 By AAP

Mile Jedinak hat trick helps Australia book 2018 World Cup spot

AustraliaAustralia
HondurasHonduras
3
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 1
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Mile Jedinak's second-half hat-trick booked Australia's place in Russia at the expense of Honduras.
Australia's Mark Milligan discusses the tough journey to qualify for a fourth consecutive World Cup.
World Cup playoff: Tom Rogic got onto the end of a Tim Cahill cross, but was denied as the goalkeeper dived at his feet.
World Cup playoff: Aaron Mooy's freekick almost finds someone on the end of it.
World Cup playoff: Mile Jedinak (54') Australia 1-0 Honduras

Australian skipper Mile Jedinak has fired the Socceroos to a fourth-straight World Cup, scoring a double in a 3-1 defeat of Honduras.

An hour of anxiety gave way to euphoria at ANZ Stadium after the Socceroos finally found a way past their playoff opponents.

But after 22 matches in 27 months on the Socceroos' marathon road to Russia, what's 60 minutes to wait?

Jedinak's deflected free kick and pair of penalties overcame Honduras, providing vindication at long last for Ange Postecoglou's tactical...

 By AAP

Honduras levels spying accusation at Australia: 'It's espionage in football'

Mile Jedinak's second-half hat-trick booked Australia's place in Russia at the expense of Honduras.
Jason Dasey and Gary Phillips assess what Australia must improve upon ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Jason Dasey and Gary Phillips preview Australia's second leg against Honduras in the World Cup playoffs.
Australia midfielder Mark Milligan likes his side's chances in their second leg against Honduras at ANZ Stadium.
Tim Cahill says he is ready to play but unsure how long his ankle will last in Australia's second leg against Honduras.

It turned out to be a family playing with a rather modern toy, yet Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto has refused to let go of the "embarrassing" drone incident that is causing drama ahead of Wednesday's World Cup qualifying finale.

Spying allegations were directed at Australia on Monday after the Honduran football association caught sight of a drone hovering above their training session at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

The team promptly tweeted a video of the small device next to the caption: "Australia spy...