Australia v Honduras: Socceroos set up World Cup qualification chance with 0-0 away leg draw

Australia v Honduras: Socceroos set up World Cup qualification chance with 0-0 away leg draw

Australia v Honduras: Socceroos set up World Cup qualification chance with 0-0 away leg draw

Updated 11 November 2017, 16:05 AEDT

A win in Sydney will take the Socceroos to the 2018 World Cup after Australia fights out a scrappy 0-0 draw away against Honduras.

The Socceroos have set themselves up for World Cup qualification with a scrappy 0-0 draw in Honduras.

On a poor pitch and against a nervous opponent, Australia might have managed to take more from the game with better finishing, but will now travel back to Sydney confident it can negotiate the home tie and reach Russia 2018.

After a shaky start that saw Honduras take the early ascendency, the Socceroos settled and begun to control the match — or as best they could, considering the horrible pitch conditions.

The Socceroos have played on some poor pitches throughout this qualification campaign — some of them at home — but none have come close to what they experienced at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.

It made for a scrappy game that often lacked tempo, but when the chances came, they usually came to those in green and gold.

Tomi Juric missed a golden first-half chance, butchering a clear one-on-one with the keeper having lost his defender, but not before controversy reigned.

The referee seemed to have given a penalty to Australia after the Honduran goalkeeper took out Bailey Wright, who was going up for a header.

But after a lengthy consultation with the linesman, and many protests from the Honduras players, the final decision was somehow offside — no Australian player was even close to being off.

The Socceroos took momentum to the break, and carried it on into the second half. Again, the best chance fell to Juric and again, he was unable to convert, this time sending a header straight at the keeper.

Australia continued to have joy on the flanks, especially when Aaron Mooy and the impressive Massimo Luongo were involved in the build-up, but the crosses seldom found a target — even when the Socceroos had two unmarked men at the back post.

But the game deteriorated late, eventually fizzling out to a scoreless draw that helps Australia more than Honduras.