Betting my way to Russia – Asian playoff 2nd-leg preview


I followed the Socceroos around the world to 4 World Cup qualification playoffs and the finals in Russia. I paid for it all with crypto I won betting on the games! See the introductory post for details.


2018 FIFA World Cup Asian playoff

October 5th 2017
Hang Jebat Stadium, Melaka Malaysia
Syria 1 – Australia 1
October 10th 2017
Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia
Australia 2 – Syria 1


State of play after the 1st-leg

The expenses

Expenses of the 2-leg trip total 886 m฿.

The bets

I won 448 m฿ on “Double chance: Draw or Australia” bets in the 1st-leg. This leaves me with 438 m฿ left to win in the 2nd-leg to cover all expenses.

As pictured below, I have bet on “Australia to qualify” risking 2826 m฿ to win 438 m฿. I got the bet on before the 1st-leg at odds of 1.155. The same bet is now up at 1.11.

Just like my bet in the 1st-leg this means I have a value bet with positive expectation so I am happy with the bet no matter what the end result.

If this bet loses I will be far more disappointed from a football perspective than I will be about the money. Watching a World Cup without Australia would be a hollow experience.

If Australia play like we did in the 1st-leg and scrape through on penalties or a 0-0 draw I am not sure I can bet on them to win the intercontinental playoff. It will depend on;

  • The opponent (Honduras, Panama or USA).
  • The odds.
  • If we change coaches.

At the moment, we are not up to it.

The football

The 1st-leg ending as a 1-1 draw means the following.

Australia qualify if:
Australia win or 0-0 draw.

Extra time and penalties if:
1-1 draw.

Syria qualify if:
Syria win or draw with more than 1 goal per team, like 2-2.

The last 7 Asian World Cup qualification playoff games have all been draws!

Syria has 3 top players suspended due to yellow card accumulation, Australia has none. The Socceroos had a chartered flight home and will have optimal preparation for the deciding game.

However, the Syrians may be in a more positive state of mind. They were pleased with the 1st-leg and feel like they have momentum on their side. Whereas the Socceroos were disappointed with the 1st-leg and show signs of self-doubt.

All the pressure is on Australia who are expected to advance and will be considered failures if they don’t. Syria’s campaign will be considered a success no matter what happens so they have nothing to lose and no pressure.

I expect Australia to qualify, mostly due to Syria’s 3 suspensions. I feel like in one of these games it’s going to click and come together for the Socceroos. If not, we need to sack the coach. Now would be a good time for either thing to happen.

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