Wed, Nov 8, 3:10pm by Head Editor
Date and Time: Saturday November 11, 8:30am AEDT
Venue: Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano Stadium, San Pedro Sula
TV: Channel 9, Fox Sports
After 12 Asian World Cup qualifiers over almost two years, the Socceroos head to Central America, where a Honduras side will be waiting for them in the first leg of their intercontinental playoff on Saturday morning (AEDT).
The match is Australia’s most important World Cup qualifier since that famous night in November of 2005, when a John Aloisi penalty sent the Roos to the World Cup for the first time in 32 years.
It’s hard to predict this one given that it’s the first ever competitive football match between the two nations, but considering that the Socceroos squad have had to travel a combined 200,000 kilometres from all corners of the globe, it’s probably fair that they’ll go in as outsiders.
Honduras are at $2 to secure a crucial home win, the Aussies are out at $3.90, while a draw, which the visitors would be more than happy with, is at $3.30.
This venue has been a fortress for the Hondurans, they haven’t lost at San Pedro’s Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano Stadium since November 11, 2016, exactly one year ago. That’s a run of eight matches, including a 3-2 win over Mexico in their last qualifier, which saw the football-mad nation move through to this stage.
Carlo Costly is the top pick to hit the back of the net at anytime, at $2.80. He’s expected to be joined up front by Eddie Hernandez, who was named in the squad despite breaking his cheekbone just two weeks ago in a club match for Motogua.
Australia’s greatest ever goal scorer Tim Cahill has made the trip to the Central American nation, despite rolling his ankle in Melbourne City’s loss to Sydney FC on Friday.
He’s a $4 chance to score what would be a huge goal in the history of Australian soccer, behind Tom Juric, who is the top Aussie in that market, at $3.75.
The atmosphere that awaits the two teams has been described as one of the most intimidating in world football. Given the hosts strong home record, and with Australia’s defence giving Syria several chances in their last start, Honduras are our pick.
A 1-0 loss would suit the Aussies well, as they’ll be confident of overturning that deficit in Sydney next Wednesday. They have a strong home record in this qualifying campaign, that consists of five wins and a draw.
Suggested Bet: Honduras to win: $2
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