The Socceroos have booked a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Australians defeated Honduras 3-1 in Sydney in a game which would book a clear winner a place in the world’s greatest sporting tournament.
Captain Mile Jedinak scored a hat-trick, including a penalty, to secure the win. All four goals came in the second half.
The goal first came from a free kick, while his second and third goal came from the penalty spot.
“I’ll take them all,” Jedinak said. “It wouldn’t have mattered who scored. I’m happy to chip in. We got the job done and that’s all that matters — it’s going to be a big 2018.”
Here’s the penalty, which took Australia to a 2-0 lead with just under 20 minutes to go:
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) November 15, 2017
Australia are the 31st team to book their place in the tournament, and only the 11th team to make all four World Cups since 2006, joining the likes of Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Spain and England.
They are 500-1 odds to win the Cup.
It remains unknown whether coach Ange Postecoglou will join the team in Russia.
He has been under intense scrutiny after failing to get the team through to the Cup via direct qualification.
He admitted after last night’s win that it has been a tough slog to get to this result.
“This last four years is the hardest thing I have ever done. Where our starting point was, going to a World Cup with a rookie squad, knowing we had to win the Asian Cup then taking a group of players on a journey they had never been on before,” he said.
“I said the day I got the job that we weren’t going to take any backward steps. We were going to be bold and ambitious. That doesn’t come without challenges.”
He did not go into detail about his future with the team.
“Right now it’s about enjoying the moment … it won’t take too long. I’ll sit down with the powers that be.
“I’m going to enjoy tonight. I owe it to myself, my friends and family because they have gone on this journey with me too.”
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