The Socceroos thumped three past Honduras as they sealed a World Cup berth at Russia, thanks to a hat-trick from Mile Jedinak.
Australia needed to win against Honduras to seal the tie having failed to score in a goal-less draw away from home. However, the AFC federation side didn’t just score, but routed over Honduras.
One key man to their success was Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak. The Australian captain took the match ball home as he scored two goals from the spot to seal qualification.
It was a game of mini heart-attacks for the Australian supporters. Both the sides couldn’t get the best of their opposing goalkeepers in the first half – with crucial saves from both ends.
However, it was captain Mile Jedinak who broke the dreadlock with his set piece. The midfielder aimed for the inside of the far post – and got lucky with a deflection to see his side commit the first blood.
Despite taking an early second-half lead, the Australian side knew one away goal could crush their hearts. Subsequently, the second goal was crucial to put the tie to the bed as Jedinak scored from the spot-kick to double Australia’s lead.
Meanwhile, Palacios committed another foul inside the d-box late into the game which gave the man-of-the-match Jedinak to complete his hat-trick.
Nonetheless, it wasn’t the end of the events in the game. Honduras managed to pull back one immediately after the third goal, but it was justa consolation goal.
Emotional night for captain fantastic
The match-winner Mile Jedinak was in frivolous mood after the match and dedicated his goals to the whole nation. He said: “It’s hard to describe. It’s unreal. We knew it would be a difficult qualification campaign but this makes it very special.
“To do it in front of our fans in such a do or die contest it’s … look. we didn’t want it to happen this way [in a play-off], but it’s happened and we’re very grateful we’re going to another World Cup.”