Honduras 0-0 Australia: Advantage Socceroos in World Cup play-off
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 11/11/17 10:00am
Australia will fancy their chances of booking a place at next year's World Cup finals after playing out a goalless draw in the first leg of their play-off clash in Honduras.
Ange Postecoglou's side, who did not risk talismanic skipper Tim Cahill as he struggled with an ankle injury, had the best chances in a poor game and will be slight favourites going into Wednesday's return leg in Sydney.
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.
Bailey Wright thought he had won Australia a penalty seven minutes later when he was challenged by Escobar as he sent a header over the crossbar. The referee awarded the spot kick, only to change his mind after consulting with his officials.
Tomi Juric spurned a golden chance for the visitors in the 34th minute when he did all the hard work to send himself clear one on one with the 'keeper, but dragged his shot horribly wide.
The same player should have done better with a free header early in the second half, while there was a let off for Australia late on as substitute Carlo Costly chose to shoot straight at Mat Ryan when he had a team-mate in acres of space in the box.
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