Classy Caltex Socceroos earn scoreless draw in Honduras
The Caltex Socceroos go into the second leg of their inter-continental World Cup playoff in a good position after an impressive display in a 0-0 draw with Honduras on Saturday (AEDT).
On a sub-standard pitch that was heavy, slow and bumpy, both sides struggled to adapt to the conditions.
Australia were rarely threatened by Honduras whose long ball game failed to cause the visitors any serious problems.
That said, the Caltex Socceroos weren’t able to take advantage of a number of good opportunities to take a lead with them back to Australia.
Overall, Ange Postecoglou's men deserved to win by a goal or two, but a 0-0 is still a handy result.
STORY OF THE GAME
· A cacophony of noise greeted the teams who walked out at the Stadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula.
· In the first 10 minutes, the Hondurans got in behind the Socceroos defence with balls through twice - Sainsbury’s perfectly timed tackle keeping Los Catrachos at bay.
· Luongo’s purposeful run and shot Australia’s best moment on 11 minutes.
· A penalty shout for Australia: Wright collided with the Honduras keeper but after the Italian referee appeared to point to the spot he conferred with his assistant and the decision was a free kick to Honduras.
· 33’ mins: Juric with the best chance of the game: through on goal with a clever flick over his defender the Aussie striker screwed it wide. A bobble on the pitch to blame.
HALF TIME: 0-0: Honduras huffed and puffed but rarely really threatened, opting for long balls over the top. Australia grew into the half with a composed and classy display.
· Two Aussie defenders were yellow carded in the opening two minutes of the second stanza.
· Australia with two excellent chances to take the lead as the pattern of the game continued: the Socceroos spurning good opportunities but looking in control while Honduras trying to hit on the break.
· 81’ mins: Mat Ryan with a strong stop to keep out Honduras.
FULL TIME: 0-0