Australia qualify for fourth World Cup in a row

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Mile Jedinak was the unlikely goal hero as Australia claimed the 31st ticket to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ with a 3-1 win over Honduras.

Maynor Figueroa pulled a goal back in the fourth minute of stoppage time, scrambling home from a corner, but it was of little consolation to a Honduras side who will watch from the sidelines as Australia take on the world at Russian Federation 2018.

Jedinak bossed the centre of the park, showing just how important he is for the Socceroos with back-to-back matches for the national team after injury had restricted him to only 98 minutes of club football for Aston Villa so far this season.

"It's unreal", Jedinak said.

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

WHAT'S NEXT: Australia are off to a fourth consecutive World Cup.

"We'll just see what happens tomorrow, mate". "But I'm going to make sure I enjoy this first".

Australia had the better opportunities in a 0-0 draw in the first leg last Friday in San Pedro Sula.

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Tim Cahill returned to the team from injury and started as a lone striker but his team mates were unable to present him with any clear-cut chances to notch up his 51st worldwide goal.

But after a frustrating first half, when Tom Rogic created the only real chance with a mistimed shot in the 37th, Australia dominated the second half.

Jedinak stepped up to fire his free kick wide of the wall and into the midriff of substitute defender Henry Figueroa, with the resulting deflection sending the ball back past the diving Escober into the net.

The goal revved up the Socceroos and the capacity home crowd, and Cahill came close with a looping header but Escober scrambled it away off the woodwork.

"Australia were very strong and aggressive and put pressure on us and tried to neutralize us", Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto said.

The Australian captain converted from the spot in the 72nd after referee Nestor Pitana penalized Bryan Acosta for a hand ball and calmly slotted home another penalty in the 85th to ensure Australia qualified for its fourth consecutive World Cup.

And the midfielder claimed a second penalty late on when Robbie Kruse was brought down by Palacios, with Jedinak slotting home to secure Australia's place at the World Cup finals in Russian Federation.

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