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Tim Cahill saves the day at match against Syria to keep 2018 World Cup dream alive

David Davutovic, October 10, 2017 5:30PM news.com.au

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Socceroos Robbie Kruse and Milos Degenek celebrate the 2-1 victory over Syria in Sydney last night. Picture: Brett Costello media_cameraSocceroos Robbie Kruse and Milos Degenek celebrate the 2-1 victory over Syria in Sydney last night. Picture: Brett Costello

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OUT of season and two months shy* of his 38th birthday, Australian soccer superstar Tim Cahill scored two crucial* goals to keep Australia’s 2018 World Cup dream alive.

A devastating loss was threatening to unfold at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium when Syria opened the scoring on six minutes, but the Socceroos rallied* to win 2-1 and will now advance to the final phase of the World Cup playoffs.

“I’m just happy the boss gave me the opportunity,” Cahill said after the game.

“Any player with conviction will score. I’m not going to waste an opportunity. I feel great.

“It shouldn’t matter who we play, we have to take it to the next level and really believe in ourselves. We’re doing it the hard way but it’s feeling pretty good at the moment.’’

Before the match, Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said the home crowd support meant a lot to the players.

Socceroos head coach Ange Postecoglou. Picture: AAP
media_cameraSocceroos head coach Ange Postecoglou. Picture: AAP

“When 80 per cent of your players play abroad it does have extra significance* when they play at home,” Postecoglou said.

“They play in front of family and friends and also feel that sort of love from the crowd. It certainly helps.

“In some ways it influences what happens on the pitch with the opposition — they feel the heat of the opposition crowd. It’s something that adds to it.”

Last week Australia and Syria fought out a 1-1 draw in Malaysia, so the Socceroos needed a win last night.

They will now face the fourth-place CONCACAF team, Panama, Honduras or the US, next month for a spot at Russia 2018.

The intercontinental playoff between the AFC and the CONCACAF team is due to take place between November 6-14.

The first leg will be played in North America, the second leg will be played in Asia, on dates to be confirmed.

Australia’s Mathew Ryan saves a goal. Picture: Cameron Spencer
media_cameraAustralia’s Mathew Ryan saves a goal. Picture: Cameron Spencer

GLOSSARY

two months shy: two months before
rallied: fought
significance: importance

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CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Socceroos in Sydney

The Socceroos were lucky enough to play this match in Sydney and had the home crowd support.
Explain the benefits of playing sport in front of a home crowd.
How would the home crowd support have helped the Socceroos to play better?

Extension: Home ground advantage

Explain what a home ground advantage is.

Having a home ground advantage can be important at any level of sport.
Think of a sporting event you have been involved with where being the home team has helped you or where being the away team has been a disadvantage.

Write a list of all the benefits of being the home team and/or the disadvantages of being the away team.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English, Health and Physical Education, Critical and Creative Thinking

Activity 2: Socceroos

Who are the Socceroos?
Visit the official Socceroos website (socceroos.com.au), click on the “squads” tab and find out the names of some of the players.
Write a profile on one player.

Extension: Letter to a Socceroo

Write a letter of support to the player you profiled.
Include in your letter some things that you find impressive about their soccer ability and some words of encouragement.
Use information from the website to help you.

Time: allow 45 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English, Health and Physical Education

VCOP ACTIVITY
(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)

Read the article and highlight WOW vocabulary in yellow.

Extension:
Try to uplevel 10 of the highlighted words to make the article even better.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP


EXTRA RESOURCES

SOCCEROOS’ WORLD CUP GOAL

SOCCER FRIENDLY A SELL-OUT

HEY UMPIRE, GREAT JOB!

KIDS ARE HAVING A BALL

FOOTY A FAMILY TEAM EFFORT

Extra Reading in sport