Mon, Nov 13, 4:08pm by Head Editor
Date and Time: Wednesday November 15, 8pm AEDT
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
TV: Channel 9, Fox Sports
Australia’s quest to reach the World Cup for the fourth time in a row received a boost on Saturday morning (AEDT), when the green and gold secured a 0-0 draw in the northern Honduras city of San Pedro Sula.
The away draw now means that a win at home on Wednesday will see the Socceroos secure a spot in the world’s biggest sporting event, which takes place in Russia next June.
The hosts are $1.61 to get the all-important win inside the 90 minutes, while they are even shorter – $1.40 – to get the all-important win via any of the three ways, including extra-time or penalties.
Honduras are $6 to stun the hosts with a win inside regulation time, while $2.80 is the quote on offer for Los Catrachos to break Australian hearts via any of the three methods.
Those odds would have been even shorter if the Aussies had of hit the back of the net in San Pedro Sula, which they deserved, having dominated possession, but just as has been the case throughout the entire qualification process, they lacked the killer instinct in front of goal.
Tim Cahill – Australia’s greatest goal scorer – made the trip to the Central American nation, but played no part in the first leg, so the 37-year-old is fresh, and is expected to start in Sydney on Wednesday.
He’s a $2.25 second-favourite to hit the back of the net, behind striker Tom Juric ($2), who had a couple of golden chances to give Australia some breathing space in this tie.
It must be said that the Hondurans were disappointing in front of a patriotic home crowd on Saturday (AEDT), but given that it remains goalless, they are still very much in the hunt.
Los Catrachos relied almost exclusively on the counter attack in the first leg, which didn’t suit Mario Martinez, who failed to register a shot on target for the first 73 minutes of play.
It was at this point that he was substituted, by crowd favourite Carlo Costly, who is at the shortest price of any of the visiting squad, at $3.75.
One of the biggest talking points since the final whistle sounded on Saturday has been the fact that Australia’s travel time back to Sydney is 24 hours shorter than Honduras.
The Socceroos travelled in luxury, in a chartered flight, while the Hondurans were forced to make the 43-hour journey in economy.
The Aussies should be fresher and too strong at home.
Suggested Bet: Australia to win 1-0: $5
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