1038 GMT December 16, 2017
Omar al-Somah opened the scoring in the early stages to stun the home crowd before Cahill headed home his first of the night inside the quarter hour mark, the-afc.com reported.
And, despite no further goals in regulation time, it was the veteran who had the final say after he nodded his 50th international goal past Ibrahim Alma in extra-time to confirm Australia’s meeting with the fourth-ranked team from CONCACAF in November.
Syria suffered a blow early into extra-time after it went down to 10 men after Mahmoud al-Mawas received his second yellow card for a foul on Robbie Kruse.
Substitute Nikita Rukavytsya had a golden opportunity at the end of the first half of extra-time when the ball reached him unmarked in the Syrian area, but his volley was hammered straight at Alma.
In the second half of extra-time, Aaron Mooy found Kruse with a delightful pass and his cross was headed home by Cahill to complete his brace.
Somah – the last minute hero against Iran – then went close when he fired a spectacular late free-kick against the upright – but it is Syria’s 2018 World Cup dream that ends, while Australia’s endures.