The World Cup hopes of QPR midfielder Massimo Luongo hang in the balance after Australia drew 1-1 with Syria in Malaysia.

The Socceroos' dreams of reaching Russia now come down to a return leg next Tuesday before facing a potential clash with a side from North and Central America for a place in the showpiece event.

Luongo was named on the bench and entered the fold with 20 minutes of the match remaining.

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The Socceroos took the lead through when Matthew Leckie broke down the right and fired a low cross to Robbie Kruse who provided a classy finish for Australia.

Syria started to mount the pressure in the second half and equalised with a penalty from Omar Al Soma bringing the scores level to set up an exciting second leg on Tuesday.