The Socceroos have sweated their way to ascendancy in their World Cup qualifying playoff but leave Honduras without a priceless away goal that their domination deserved.
Before an exuberant sold-out Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano crowd on Saturday (AEDT), Australia earned a 0-0 draw to position themselves smartly for the home leg in Sydney.
Ange Postecoglou's side now needs to win on Wednesday to book a place at the 2018 tournament in Russia.
It might have been an easier equation if the Socceroos had only converted one of several golden chances.
"It was a great performance and the result doesn't really reflect that," Postecoglou said.
"The only thing missing from our game was goals. Hopefully in the second leg we'll get those."
On a pitch more resembling a cow paddock, Australia came to play.
Postecoglou wasn't lying when he said he'd take his all-out attacking game to San Pedro Sula, committing players forward.
A forward-focused midfield monstered possession and allowed Jackson Irvine and Aaron Mooy to show their wares.
Returning skipper Mile Jedinak was often the sole midfielder backtracking to assist the back three.
They were caught unaware on four minutes, with Trent Sainsbury forced to come from the clouds to deny Antony Lozano with a sliding tackle as he prepared to take a one-on-one chance.
It would be Honduras' best chance of the game.
In hostile conditions and a muggy atmosphere, the inexperienced Socceroos brimmed with cleverness and spark.
Massimo Luongo danced through the box and forced Denis Escobar into a fine save on 11 minutes.
Then on 20 minutes, controversy.
A penalty to Australia when Escobar clattered Bailey Wright saw furious Honduran players surround the assistant referee.
Replays showed the defender was onside but referee Daniele Orsato overturned the decision after consulting his linesman.
The Socceroos headed to the break on top despite Tom Juric missing the chance of the first half, running past a faltering Johnny Palacios with a neat flick but striking wide.
At halftime, a dozen officials tended to enormous divots in the boggy pitch, earlier criticised by Postecoglou.
Opportunities continued to come.
Juric headed straight at Escobar before Risdon wriggled free only to send his cut-back sailing past two waiting attackers at the back post.
These were agonising chances that afforded the Central Americans a glimmer.
Australia stood tall to deny them twice in the last 10 minutes, with Mat Ryan saving Carlos Costly's powerful strike before Juric denied a free kick at the front post.
Posteoglou said considering the obstacles, his side deserved credit.
"The environment, the conditions, the crowd, I thought we handled them really well. The pitch was a obviously a challenge ... they were brave enough to keep going.
"We silenced the crowd a fair bit because of the way we played," he said.
"On our play, we deserved one or two goals.
"Now (heading to Sydney to) our conditions and the crowd behind us, some fresh legs, from that perspective we're in good shape."