SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (AP) — Honduras has held Australia to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their intercontinental World Cup playoff, leaving a spot at Russia still very much at stake in next week's return leg in Sydney.
Neither team was able to break the stalemate in a tense opening leg at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano on Friday.
Honduras, which finished fourth in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) qualifying competition, failed to take advantage of its home-ground advantage. The Hondurans created few real scoring opportunities, but defended resiliently after being under pressure for most of the match.
Australia, which beat Syria over two-legs to finish fifth in the Asian qualifying section, was left to rue a string of missed opportunities and the absence of injured striker Tim Cahill. Forward Tomi Juric squandering two clear-cut chances to give the Socceroos a precious away goal.