Syria dominated most of the first half, with Omar Al-Soma and Omar Khribin the major threats.

A piece of individual brilliance from Awer Mabil opened the scoring, cutting in onto his left and curling the ball past Ibrahim Alma. But less than two minutes later, a defensive lapse in concentration let Khribin in for the equaliser, despite the best efforts of Mat Ryan.

A visionary pass from Rogic bisected the Syrian backline in the 54th minute, and a gentle touch from Chris Ikonomidis was enough to carry the ball past Alma and barely over the goal line before it was hacked clear.

The Quasioun Eagles were up in arms shortly thereafter when a bobbled first touch from Mark Milligan clearly struck his outstretched arm, but referee Cesar Ramos waved away their furious appeals.

Ramos was at the centre of controversy once more in the 80th minute when Al-Soma went down in the box. The Mexican official hesitated for an agonising few moments before pointing to the spot, seemingly at the behest of his assistant.

Milos Degenek was the closest man, but replays later revealed Al-Soma had tripped over a teammate. It mattered not to the big striker, as he dusted himself off and sent Mat Ryan the wrong way from 12 yards.

With the nerves of Australian fans completely shot, it took until the 93rd minute for the Socceroos to nab the three points and ensure automatic progression to the knockout stages. Tom Rogic accepted an Ikonomidis cutback outside the area and unleashed a ripping strike that arrowed into the back of the net.

Relief for Australia, who go through in second place in Group B, and agony for Syria, who finish bottom of the group with just one point.

Mat Ryan – 7.5

Started very nervously with a shanked clearance straight to the opposition, and must’ve breathed a sigh of relief when Khribin fired wide.

Made a remarkable save from Khribin’s initial header, and couldn’t do anything about the follow-up. Denied Khribin again in the second half, getting down low to his right and clawing the header away with a very strong arm.

Rhyan Grant – 7.5

Got forward well in the first half, producing a great delivery for Maclaren. Energetic throughout the 90 minutes, providing a few excellent covering challenges, although he was occasionally caught out of position.

Mark Milligan – 4

Sluggish and slow off the mark, and looked unsure and nervy in possession. Clearly handballed inside his own box in the second half and was incredibly lucky to escape unpunished.

Struggled to deal with the dual threat of Al-Soma and Khribin – a nightmare of a game for the Australian captain.

Milos Degenek – 5

Ball-watching for the first goal, giving Khribin far too much space behind him. Unlucky to give away a ridiculous penalty after one Syrian attacker actually collided with a teammate.

Aziz Behich – 6

Absolutely awful in the first half, giving the ball away repeatedly and getting beaten in 1v1 situations. Much improved in the second, providing a threat going forward and combining well with Ikonomidis.

Massimo Luongo - 6

Recalled to the side in place of Sainsbury, and the QPR midfielder struggled to stamp his influence on the contest.

He and Irvine continually positioned themselves too close to the centre backs in possession, preventing the team from advancing and leaving a massive gap to bridge between the #6s and Rogic.