Hostile conditions and a bobbly pitch welcomed Australia to San Pedro Sula, for the first leg of their World Cup qualification match against Honduras.
Amid speculation and qualification doubt, Ange Postecoglou’s team selection was spot on, as the Socceroos' 0-0 draw failed to provide a fair reflection of their impressive performance.
In particular, an underwhelming show of strength from the hosts will give Postecoglou’s men the confidence to get the job done on Wednesday night in Sydney. However, the Socceroos now board their chartered flight back to Australia without an away goal.
Mathew Ryan - 6.5
Was forced to rethink his distribution, due to the tricky conditions and Honduras’ high pressure from goal kicks. Ryan’s only scare came with ten minutes to go when he pushed the ball over the bar, following a Carlo Costly shot.
Bailey Wright - 7
Confusion erupted when Wright thought he'd won his side a penalty in the first half. Instead, the referee reversed his decision and gave a goal kick. Defensively, Wright was solid and protected Ryan at all costs.
Trent Sainsbury - 8
Confident with the ball at his feet and defensively sound, Sainsbury played his part in a well-drilled defensive unit. With 50 minutes on the clock, the defender picked up a booking, which meant he had to remain disciplined until the end – a hard task considering the conditions.
Mathew Jurman - 6.5
Took zero chances at the back and had to retain his focus throughout after receiving an early booking. He had less time on the ball compared to his defensive teammates, but still defended well.
Massimo Luongo - 8
Was at the heart of many Australian attacks and maintained possession competently. The QPR midfielder came close in the first half, dribbling into the penalty area, before striking the ball at goal with his left foot. Australia’s best player on the night.
Mile Jedinak - 7.5
A brick wall in the Aussie midfield, Jedinak was the calmest head on the pitch. The 33-year-old offered assurance to Mooy and Luongo, allowing them both to play higher up the field.
Aziz Behich - 7
Found heaps of space down the left by exploiting Honduras’ weak defence. However, Behich’s crossing was inconsistent, something he might blame on the unpredictable turf.