Socceroos sweat on final World Cup play-off foes


Australia will learn their final World Cup play-off opponent on Wednesday, with Panama and Honduras the likely options for next month's home-and-away encounter.

Tuesday night's Tim Cahill show gave the national team a 2-1 second-leg win over Syria that sealed the team's spot in an intercontinental play-off against the fourth-place team CONCACAF nation for a place in Russia.

Staff have long been preparing for every possible outcome, compiling analysis and logistics on both probable adversaries and even third-placed United States, should they falter against the struggling Trinidad and Tobago.

Postecoglou was confident the background work would have the Socceroos well prepared for the last step on their journey to Russia 2018.

He just hoped to receive as much financial support as possible for the cut-throat tie consisting of one away game and another back at ANZ Stadium on to-be-confirmed dates between November 6 and 14.

FFA opened its coffers for the Syria tie, providing a charter flight to whisk the squad from Malaysia to Sydney last week, a venture the coach felt significantly enhanced recovery.

"What they (FFA) is doing is trying to be as professional as possible," Postecoglou said.

"I'm not sure the charter flight is an option for this one, but you can certainly can 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."

Both Mark Milligan and Mathew Leckie will be suspended for the first leg after picking up their second yellow cards of the Syria matches.

The key pair's absence will be a blow, especially given Australia will play the first leg in tough away conditions, but Postecoglou backed his depth.

"It's been our longest-ever World Cup campaign. We've had over 20 games, and that's why the squad is made up as it is and we've got options if people are missing," he said.

"Millsy missed a game through suspension a couple of games ago, and Lecks was fantastic tonight.

"He's really turning into an accomplished international player as well as a league player, and I'm rapt for him.

"We'll miss him but that probably means we'll be fresh for the second game at home, which is good for us."


Trinidad and Tobago v US (11am)

Honduras v Mexico (11am)

Panama v Costa Rica (11am)

Source AAP