The Socceroos have failed to capitalise on a glut of goalscoring chances in Honduras as they were held to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their World Cup play-off on Saturday morning (AEDT). Tommy Rogic of Australia and Jorge Claros of Honduras in action.
After weathering an early storm, Australia had the first clear-cut chance when Massimo Luongo jinked his way into the box and fired in a low shot which was well saved by goalkeeper Donis Escober.
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou was also left confused after Italian referee Daniele Orsato appeared to award a penalty to the visitors in the first half after a goalmouth clash between the keeper and Bailey Wright but then cancelled it after consulting with his assistant.
"I just tried to wait for it a little but couldn't wait too long, and just couldn't catch it right", he said.
Postecoglou credited his team with overcoming tough Honduran conditions but let loose when asked if he was expecting the home side "to be so easy".
Now Australia's starting striker, Tomi Juric is an industrious player but continues to struggle to add goals to his games in a national shirt.
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"Our general play is great, we work hard and we're just missing that clinical edge. But overall I couldn't be happier".
The Australians dominated the match and created the better scoring opportunities but Honduras defended resiliently at home and neither side was able to break the stalemate in a tense opening leg at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano on Friday.
Neither team were able to produce much football on what was an atrocious pitch that cut up from the very first minute and made skilful football hard.
Honduras held Asian Cup champion Australia to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their intercontinental World Cup playoff, leaving a spot at Russian Federation still very much at stake for both teams in next week's return leg at Sydney's Olympic stadium.
"Without a doubt we're disappointed", Juric said post-match. "I felt for the most part we kept the crowd really quiet".