Socceroos great Tim Cahill keeps cool head in World Cup bid

Find the net: Tim Cahill scores the winner against Syria. Picture: AP Photo/Rick Rycroft
Find the net: Tim Cahill scores the winner against Syria. Picture: AP Photo/Rick Rycroft

It was one of the most important goals in Socceroos history. 

Tim Cahill delivers yet again.

But his efforts off the ball, the ones which are edited out of the highlights reel, are equally telling to show just how important Cahill his to Australia and qualifying for the World Cup.

Cahill was running back 60 and 70 metres to close down Syrian attackers, even at 37 he was moving past younger players to do so. It’s inspirational for teammates to watch someone of his experience be able to make those extra efforts.

Of course, his ability to head home a goal is on par with anyone in the world, it takes such movement, timing and composure.

Watching in the stands, it was one of the most intense games I’ve seen, with so much at stake.

Both the Wanderers and Socceroos have had recent scrutiny over the future of their managers, it’s a difficult situation.

But, in the same way we had to just focus on getting on with the job and win the three points against Perth after Tony Popovic’s exit, the Socceroos have to focus on the task at hand.

They face a huge challenge to beat Honduras over two legs.

Honduras have been facing world-class opposition like the USA and Mexico throughout their qualification campaign. 

What about the drama? 

The US lost to Trinidad and Tobago and missed out completely, while Honduras and Panama fought to win their games at the same time.

It all comes down to this.

As a nation, Australia now has great experience of these playoffs, having felt the pain of losing to Iran and Uruguay and then finally breaking through in Sydney in 2005.

But this Socceroos squad does not have the experience of other campaigns.

Cahill’s experience will be invaluable, especially handling a difficult environment on the away leg and making sure Australia are in a position to come home and seal the World Cup spot.

With the Matildas in phenomenal form with their recent victories over Brazil, it is vital for Australia to make the World Cup, in terms of exposure, development and financially.