Sydneysider Socceroos aim to set Honduras back early

Sydneysider Socceroos aim to set Honduras back early


Mass Luongo says the Socceroos will eye an early goal to pile the pressure on Honduras when they meet in the intercontinental World Cup play-off second leg on Wednesday.

Australia hold a slim advantage after the first leg in San Pedro Sula, where they secured a 0-0 draw after dominating large swathes of the game.

The Green and Gold too are likely to be the more refreshed side after the gruelling flight from Central America.

They enjoyed the luxuries of a chartered plane while the Hondurans flew commercially – some of their players were in economy class – and arrived in Sydney almost 24 hours behind the hosts.

While Luongo, who starred in the opening fixture, admitted it was frustrating not to have returned home with an even bigger head start, he was confident an early goal could open the floodgates.

“Coming off a performance like that, we will be overconfident, not too overconfident, but we will have loads of confidence going into the second leg,” the QPR midfielder said.

“What the previous games have showed is that we do like to score at home.

“I think we can do and with a nice pitch and the crowd behind us, we will get chances and we’ll finally execute them.

“If we get one early doors, they’ll have to come out and search for a goal or two goals.

“I think that will open them up a little bit and suit us … we can exploit teams like that.

“We’ve got to be careful in transition and the other side of the game, but I think that will suit us.”

For another Sydney native in Alex Gersbach, arriving back in his home town was an “emotional” experience.

The 20-year-old, who is capped just four times at senior level, is on the brink of reaching football’s showpiece event.

The former Sydney FC left-back said he was simply excited about what lied ahead.

“It’s really nice to be back in Sydney and looking out the left-hand side of the plane … landing in Sydney was really nice and a little bit emotional as well,” Gersbach said.

“To be here and to be here for such a special occasion is really special.

“It’s really exciting. Everyone keeps asking ‘are you nervous?’ but it’s more just excitement.

“To be here and to be involved with the squad is really special for me and it’s just a big feeling of excitement.”