Tim Cahill came to the rescue once again for the Socceroos, scoring his 50th international goal in the second half of extra time to keep his side’s World Cup hopes alive.
But while Australia cheered, Syrian coach Ayman Hakeem was left with a severe case of sour grapes. As soon as full-time was blown Australian mentor Ange Postecoglou went over to his opposite number to shake hands, but rather than just congratulate the winner, Hakeem started raging.
He was seen gesturing and complaining to Postecoglou, who obviously wasn’t having a bar of that nonsense. The Australian boss decided Hakeem’s movements were so interesting he’d try some of his own, making the international symbol for “quit talking gibberish, mate” with his right hand as he walked away.
He turned back and made it clear he didn’t agree at all with Hakeem before heading off to his own troops, all the while waving goodbye to Hakeem, just as Syria waved goodbye to a maiden World Cup appearance.
You talking to me?Source:Getty Images
Postecoglou explained what the tiff was all about shortly after.
“He was complaining about the referee which I thought was a bit rich coming after the first game,” he said.
Several Aussie stars felt they were hard done by in the first leg in Malaysia last week when a dubious penalty against Mathew Leckie in the dying stages resulted in Syria escaping with a draw.
Hakeem and his players became more and more animated as the game in Sydney wound down following Cahill’s winner. With five minutes remaining in the second period of added time the coach exploded, even making his way onto the pitch to abuse the officials when the referee failed to recognise his linesman’s call that the ball had gone out.
The red mist descended again soon after as Robbie Kruse went down with cramp, the Syrians demanding he be taken from the field rather than waste time by receiving treatment on the pitch.
It was ironic given the Sydney crowd had booed the visitors more than once for what it believed was cynical time wasting on their part when the score was still 1-1. Mardik Mardinian succumbed to cramp late in the second half of regular time as several medicos rushed onto the playing surface with a stretcher in tow, angering the parochial fans in the stands.
No mate, you’re out of line.Source:Getty Images
Hakeem had calmed down by the time he fronted the media, saying he was proud of his troops for making it as far as they did.
“I was very proud of our players. We need to thank the Syrian supporters who turned out to support the national team,” he said.