Ange Postecoglou will be thankful of the result but knows he has to get more from his players to finally book Australia’s place in Russia 2018, never mind making a mark at the finals.
But for now, we can enjoy the victory. Find out who starred and who stumbled in our player ratings.
ANALYSIS: Fate wouldn’t bench Mooy
Other than then opener, Ryan was rarely troubled on the night. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)Source:AP
MATY RYAN — 7
Pulled off some serious saves and distributed the ball as well as he ever does.
TRENT SAINSBURY — 7
It was a tough toil, but Sainsbury did well to snuff out most of the threat at the heart of the Socceroos three-man defence.
MATTHEW JURMAN — 8
Hard to believe this was just his second Socceroos appearance. Jurman was key at the back.
MILOS DEGENEK — 7
Was tidy at the back along with Sainsbury and Jurman.
BRAD SMITH — 5
Limped off injured inside the opening 10 minutes, but that allowed Mooy to come on.
It was Milligan’s error that let Syria in so quickly. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
MARK MILLIGAN — 7
Gave the ball away that led to Syria’s goal, but was solid in the midfield after that.
JAMES TROISI — 7
Good in parts, but faded a bit until he was replaced by Rukavytsya.
TOM ROGIC — 8
Probably one of his best performances in a Socceroos shirt. Rogic and Mooy are becoming a formidable pairing.
ROBBIE KRUSE — 6
Flattered to deceive on the night.
Leckie’s energy and crossing was crucial for Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
MATHEW LECKIE — 8
Put in a superb cross for Cahill’s goal and worked his socks off down the left.
TIM CAHILL — 10
He’s there to score and score he did. He also played 120 minutes, which is not bad for a 37-year-old. Give that man a Knighthood.
AARON MOOY — 8
It took 10 minutes before we saw him and, given his showing, you have to wonder why it took so long. Pulled virtually all the strings in attack.
NIKITA RUKAVYTSYA — 6
Introduced in the second half and had a golden chance to put the Socceroos ahead in extra time, but Syria’s goalkeeper pulled off a point-blank save.
TOMI JURIC — 6
Came on for Rogic at the start of extra time, but didn’t get many opportunities.