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Wright’s Socceroos earn goalless draw

Bailey Wright’s Australia played out a goalless draw with Honduras in the first leg of their 2018 FIFA World Cup play-off on Friday evening.

On a sub-standard pitch, the Socceroos were rarely troubled by their hosts, but Ange Postecoglou’s side were frustratingly unable to capitalise on their dominance.

Wright was at the heart of the action in the 20th minute when he was adjudged to have been fouled inside the area after colliding with the Honduras goalkeeper at a set-piece.

The referee appeared to award the Socceroos a penalty, but having conferred with his assistant - who already had his flag raised for offside - a free kick was given against the City skipper.  

Moments later Tomi Juric felt he should have given the Socceroos the lead when he fired wide from an attractive position, before seeing a promising header tipped over the bar by Donis Escober.

Honduras almost snatched a late victory, only for Brighton’s shot stopper Mat Ryan to deny Carlo Costly with a smart save, leaving it all to play for in the second leg.

The sides will meet in Sydney on Wednesday (9am GMT), with the winning team qualifying for the summer tournament.