• Honduras fans celebrate their team's victory over Mexico (AFP)
The Socceroos will travel to one of the most-dangerous cities on earth in their quest for a fourth-consecutive World Cup berth.
11 Oct 2017 - 6:11 PM  UPDATED 11 Oct 2017 - 6:12 PM

Australia will face Honduras next month in a final two-legged playoff tie, their intercontinental fate confirmed after a drama-packed final CONCACAF match day.

While avoiding a clash with heavyweights the United States was a blessing, the national team will encounter their toughest away clash yet in a fixture set to be Ange Postecoglou's last as coach.

Crowd hostility will be nothing like they've experienced in Asia over their 20 qualifiers in this World Cup cycle.

And that's before considering that Honduras play their home qualifiers in San Pedro Sula.

The city was known as "murder capital of the world" until early 2016, when Venezuela's capital Caracas eclipsed its sky-high homicide rate.

The Socceroos will make that perilous journey without key players Mark Milligan and Mathew Leckie, both suspended for the first leg after picking up their second yellow cards of the Syria matches.

Postecoglou, set to walk from the job after the cut-throat tie, hoped to receive as much financial support as possible for the series, to be played between November 6 and 14 and culminating in a home leg at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

Football Federation Australia opened its coffers for the Syria fixtures, providing a charter flight to whisk the squad from Malaysia to Sydney last week in a venture the coach felt significantly enhanced recovery.

"What they (FFA) is doing is trying to be as professional as possible," Postecoglou said after Tuesday night's 2-1 playoff win over Syria.

"I'm not sure the charter flight is an option for this one, but you can certainly see out there it helped us in terms of our recovery processes.

"I don't think we should smirk at that; that's a fantastic initiative by the organisation.

"They're backing the team and we need those kind of things to work in our favour.

"Same as the pitch - it was in good condition and, hopefully, it is in a month's time as well.

"All those things make a difference when you're fighting for something which is as big a prize as this and the opposition are going to fight tooth and nail."

Panama were slight favourites over Honduras to finish fourth and face Australia, leading into Wednesday's last set of CONCACAF fixtures, with the US in the box seat to qualify directly in third spot.

But the Americans were shockingly eliminated after a 2-1 loss to stragglers Trinidad and Tobago, missing out on a first World Cup since 1986.

Roman Torres' 88th-minute goal gave Panama a 2-1 win over Costa Rica and lifted them into third on goal difference to secure an unlikely maiden automatic qualification.

Honduras sealed fourth spot and a Socceroos playoff via their 3-2 upset of group winners Mexico.



FIFA RANKING: 74 (Australia 50)

NICKNAME: Los Catrachos

QUALIFICATION RESULTS: Won three (Trin & Tob 3-1 and 2-1; Mexico 3-2), drew four (Costa Rica 1-1 and 1-1; Panama 2-2, USA 1-1), lost three (Panama 1-0; USA 6-0; Mexico 3-0)

WORLD CUP HISTORY: 1982 (group stage), 2010 (group stage), 2014 (group stage)

KEY PLAYERS: Maynor Figueroa, Emilio Izaguirre, Boniek Garcia

ACHIEVEMENTS: 1981 CONCACAF champions, 1985 and 1991 runners-up


POPULATION: 9.1 million (Source: World Bank)

LOCATION: Central America, in between Guatemala and Nicaragua, and also bordered the Caribbean Sea, El Salvador and the North Pacific Ocean.

CAPITAL: Tegucigalpa


* It is said to rain fish at least once a year in the Honduran city of Yoros - with locals holding a festival to celebrate the unusual downpour.

* Honduras went to war with El Salvador for several days in 1970 after riots at the two nations' World Cup qualifying matches flared existing tensions.

* The term Banana Republic was originally used to describe Honduras's reliance on banana exports.

* The murder rate in Honduras is exceptionally high, with about 90 murders per 100,000 people (compared to just one per 100,000 in Australia).

* The nation's Bay Islands sit on the second largest coral reef in the world, behind the Great Barrier Reef.