San Pedro Sula: The man the locals desperately wanted to see made his first appearance in a Socceroos' kit on Honduran soil, but Tim Cahill's first training session was little more than a brief cameo.
The veteran striker remains an outside chance to play against Honduras in Australia's World Cup qualifying play-off on Saturday morning (AEDT) as he is yet to resume light training. An ankle injury meant the Melbourne City star only went through his stretches before spending most of the session with the Socceroos' physio staff.
Cahill did not even take part in the jogging stage of the warm-up at the Estadio Morazan in San Pedro Sula, just three days before the first leg of the play-off. Australia's all-time leading goal-scorer was surprisingly brought to Honduras by coach Ange Postecoglou instead of remaining in Australia to recover for the second leg in Sydney.
Postecoglou could step down after the play-offs and has been linked with Scottish Premier League club, Glasgow Rangers. Australia defender Bailey Wright was aware of the reports but says the players have not been informed of any decision by Postecoglou on his future.
"I've seen that [link to Rangers] but our focus as players is on these two games regardless of what's been said about any other stuff. It's nothing that we can control, what's been said. It is what it is and we just move on and focus on our football," Wright said. "Our focus is on these two games and all the outside noise doesn't really matter. It's purely on these two results for us."
The Socceroos received a warm welcome from local fans and journalists at their second training session in San Pedro Sula, which dispelled much of the concerns around their safety in the Central American city that has previously struggled with a violent reputation.
"Everyone I've come across so far is lovely," Wright said. "Everyone's been really friendly and up for a chat, asking how we are. I feel very welcome. All the boys will probably tell you the same thing. Regarding what's in the media - I don't really look too much at what's been said - I make my mind up when I'm here. So far its been nice. Everyone down at the training pitch was really good and I haven't been here 24 hours yet and I've not really been out and about. I mean, we're here to do a job, focus on the football and so far it's been good."