Mile Jedinak bags hat-trick as Australia seal World Cup spot


Australian midfielder Mark Milligan has declared qualification for a fourth consecutive World Cup as "extremely special" after a 3-1 win over Honduras on Wednesday night.

Honduras, who had been held to a 0-0 draw in the home leg last week, had been bidding for a third successive World Cup appearance but offered little in attack until Alberth Elis's stoppage-time goal earned the visitors some scant consolation.

He made a pledge to the Australian public that he would lead the team until the end of their World Cup journey, which we now know will be in Russian Federation next year, so for him to leave the job now would be like leaving a sandwich half-eaten, it is grotesque and simply unnecessary - after all, he was the one who ordered the sandwich.

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. "We're very grateful we're going to another World Cup".

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. Postecolgou became the first Australian to steer his country to a World Cup, even if doubts linger as to whether he'll take the team there. - Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak. 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.

Australia, however, remained on the offensive as Cahill's looping header dropped onto the crossbar.

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