Australia qualify for 2018 World Cup

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Captain Mile Jedinak led the way with a second-half hat-trick as Australia brushed aside Honduras 3-1 in the second leg of their inter-confederation playoff to secure a place at next year's World Cup finals in Russian Federation on Wednesday.

Australia qualified for their fourth consecutive World Cup with a strong second half performance helping them to a 3-1win over Honduras in front of 77,060 fans.

A scrambled injury time reply from Alberth Elis was no concern for Australia.

Postecoglou's future is shrouded in uncertainty. Pic Getty
Postecoglou's future is shrouded in uncertainty. Pic Getty

"It's been a tough two-and-a-half years to get to this point but we did it".

Captain Mile Jedinak scored a second half hat-trick to put the Socceroos on course for a 3-1 aggregate victory after the first leg in San Pedro Sula last week finished goalless. Tom Rogic wasted the best chance during that period, scuffing a first-time left-foot shot into the arms of Donis Escober after Aziz Behich had combined brilliantly with Tim Cahill before cutting the ball back.

That aside, Aaron Mooy's set-piece deliveries provided Australia's main threat but Honduras, while offering nearly nothing in attack, survived reasonably comfortably until the break. However his first, a deflected free-kick, was later awarded as an own goal.

Rogic atoned for this miss nine minutes into the second half, though, with a thrilling solo run that brought Australia a free-kick on the edge of Honduras's box.

The midfield was bossed by a two-pronged Australian base of Jedinak and Milligan, who said that a place in the finals in Russian Federation was a just reward for the Socceroos' hard work after they missed out on automatic qualification.

The 77,060 crowd had barely retaken their seats when Cahill nearly doubled the lead with a header from the edge of the penalty area that landed on Escober's crossbar.

But Jedinak did make the occasion safe when slotting home a penalty on 72 minutes, following a handball from Bryan Acosta.