Mile Jedinak the hat-trick hero as Australia secure World Cup berth with win over Honduras
World Cup intercontinental play-off second leg, ANZ Stadium, Sydney - Australia 3 (Jedinak 54, 72 pen, 85 pen) Honduras 1 (Maynor Figueroa 90) - Australia win 3-1 on aggregate
Australia reached their fifth World Cup after beating Honduras 3-1 in Sydney courtesy of a hat-trick from captain Mile Jedinak.
Following a 0-0 draw from the first leg of their intercontinental play-off, Australia, who came through the Asian qualifying process, saw off Honduras, who came fourth in the Concacaf group, courtesy of three goals from dead-ball situations from Jedinak.
The Aston Villa midfielder benefited from a big slice of luck on 54 minutes as his free-kick took a huge deflection off Henry Figueroa. It was given as an own goal before being awarded to the skipper.
Australia could have doubled their lead soon after when Tim Cahill, who scored 11 goals during the qualifying process, saw a looping header hit the top of the bar.
But Jedinak did make the occasion safe when slotting home a penalty on 72 minutes, following a handball from Bryan Acosta.
And the midfielder claimed a second penalty late on when Robbie Kruse was brought down by Palacios, with Jedinak slotting home to secure Australia’s place at the World Cup finals in Russia.
Maynor Figueroa found a scrappy reply in injury time but it was not enough for Honduras.
Only one place remains to be decided at the World Cup, with New Zealand taking on Peru in the second leg of their play-off on Wednesday night. It is 0-0 after the first leg.