Jedinak does trick as Socceroos make it to Russia
Australia captain Mile Jedinak praised the commitment of the squad after his hat-trick helped defeat Honduras 3-1 in a play-off in Sydney to secure a place at the 2018 World Cup.
The Socceroos had missed out on automatic qualification after finishing behind Asian Football Confederation rivals Japan and Saudi Arabia, and they therefore went into a regional play-off where they ended Syria's hopes of advancing further towards Russia.
Ange Postecoglou's men then returned from Honduras following a scoreless draw in the first leg.
In the end Australia had too much for the Central Americans following an impressive second-half display which sparked great celebrations at the ANZ Stadium.
Aston Villa midfielder Jedinak broke the deadlock on 53 minutes with a deflected free-kick, before adding another with a penalty and then clinching his treble five minutes from time when he slotted a second spot-kick.
Honduras captain Maynor Figueroa netted a consolation for the visitors in stoppage time, but the night belonged to Australia as fireworks were set off over the Sydney Harbour Bridge in celebration of clinching a place at a fourth successive World Cup finals.
"It was our duty as a nation of football players to get this job done. We set out on a task two-and-a-half years ago - we stuck to our guns and we got there," Jedinak said.