Australia has already proved itself as one of the strongest forces in Asian football, with the team more than dominating the 2015 Asian Cup! It’s because of this, we at StubHub are delighted to offer Socceroo tickets, so you can watch as they take on some of the world’s finest countries! So support the Socceroos in all their glory, and most importantly, in person!
Originally established in nineteen twenty-two, the first international football team stands as a fairly young team compared to their rugby counterparts! Touring New Zealand in one of their first international endeavours, Australia actually suffered two defeats and a draw! Finding themselves on equal footing the team began playing regularly against New Zealand, before enjoying skirmishes with both South Africa and the Republic of China! This lasted all through the early thirties and forties. With the modernisation of air travel Australia quickly began to diversify with its opponents, however due to its location, Australia quickly became the equivalent of a big fish in a little pond. Despite their domination of the Oceania region, Australia failed to qualify for both the nineteen sixty-six and nineteen seventy World Cup, losing out to middle table country such as Israel and North Korea! Australia didn´t actually qualify for a game until seventy-four, when the team flew to West Germany to participate in the first round. This isn’t to say that Australia were bad, as each time they failed to qualify, the team only lost out in the play-offs, a tradition that has almost carried on up to now. Despite this the team have remained a permanent place of pride for Australia, with the country fondly nicknaming the team “The Socceroos” in sixty-seven.
When the team finally qualified seven years later, the team had excelled much further than anyone could ever have anticipated. In the road up to the World Cup, Australia played a series of home and away games against Iraq, New Zealand and Indonesia. After winning the tournament, they then went on to win a two-legged fixture against Iran, where in the second leg, Australia held on to their slim lead in front of one hundred and twenty thousand Iranian fans. After this win, Australia then played South Korea, where once again the Socceroos just scraped the win, with a winning goal from Jimmy Mackay off a free kick. Unfortunately, Australia was drawn into Group A, against hosts and favourites alike. After losing both its games, the first against East Germany, the second against (eventual winners) West Germany, the Socceroo’s left the world cup with one point, managing a draw with Chile. In the next ten years, Australia remained fairly quiet in the realms of association football, and although the Socceroos continued to try their best, nothing notable ever occurred.
The nineties saw a revival of Australia’s participation in the world game, showing promise of what Australia could be capable of. When Australia tried to qualify for USA’s ninety-four World Cup, the team faced three play-off stages. The first was the Oceania playoff, where Australia finished at the top of Group one, the team remained undefeated in all their games. The team then went on to play New Zealand, where Australia once again played brilliantly, remaining undefeated, and winning the Oceania playoff. The second playoff saw the team face Canada, in yet another two legged game, and while Canada beat Australia in the first leg, Australia beat Canada in the second, forcing the game to go into extra time, in which the team ended three all and so the game then went into penalties, where Australia finally beat Canada four goals to one. The last play off matched Australia up against previous champions and ninth ranking country Argentina, in once again a two legged game. In the first leg Australia drew with Argentina, one all, while unfortunately in the following game, Argentina went on to beat Australia one nil, taking Australia out of qualification. Recent allegations by Diego Maradona himself, implicate the Argentinean team of drug taking during this period, which goes to show how talented the Australian team at this time could have been. (Just goes to show, Australia have the potential when pushed, so grab those all-important Socceroo tickets in just a few simple clicks, here at StubHub!)
The real golden age for Australian football begins in two thousand and two, when Australia made a mockery of the confederation. After winning the qualifying tournament, the second and third string line-ups consisted of a number of tiny island teams. Subsequently Australia broke the records for most goals in a match, scoring twenty two goals against Tonga, before beating their record again against American Samoa with thirty one goals, Australian striker Archie Thompson now holds the record for Most International Goals in One Match scoring a staggering thirteen goals. Their only real threat was New Zealand, which they beat, bringing them to the second leg however their qualification ended abruptly when facing age old champions Uruguay.
The next world cup in two thousand and six saw Australia qualify, with the team beating Jamaica five nil in a friendly in London. However what was more impressive about this was the final match with Uruguay. The game, in true Socceroo fashion, played out all the way through to penalty shootouts, where Australia finally won four goals to two. The resulting win led to celebrations across the country, the first world cup qualification in thirty two years!
Soon after qualifying, fans and officials alike expressed the need for Australia to abandon the OFC (Oceania Football Confederation), as the system in which they played games out starved Australia of opponents. Rumours had then spread to talks in between FIFA and the AFC (Asia Football Confederation) concerning Australia’s placement. In two thousand and seven Australia was entered into the Asian Cup qualification, where the team then qualified for the finals.
With former Melbourne victory coach, Angelos “Ange” Postecoglou now fully taking the helm, speculation on Australia’s performance looms ahead uncertainly. With Australia facing up against football giants such as former World Cup champions Spain, World Cup runner-ups the Netherlands and Chile, There’s no doubt that the team will certainly need to work doubly hard in order to prove themselves capable! Suffice to say, Postecoglou will be doing everything in his power to prove that Australia’s national selection has what it takes to face a menagerie of deadly foes that’ll all be rearing their heads in this coming World Cup! While the team will no doubt find it difficult against many of the participating countries, Postecoglou still remains positive, with the coach saying of his players “I know the Australian sporting culture, having grown up in this country, I’ve got an awareness of what the public expects from its national teams. Our players will respond to that”, he even gone on to say the attacking nature that he wants the team to exhibit during these coming games! Postecoglou’s rousing speech talked of Australia’s aim for consistency, along with the team’s lack of caution proving integral! Australian defender export and former Middlesbrough captain, Rhys Williams said that Postecoglou’s style of football has seen the team experience a new freshness, saying “It was brilliant the way he wants us to play at training, with nothing over waist or head height.” Suffice to say the team certainly has its list of notable players to watch, including leading scorer Tim Cahill, who is quickly becoming the heart of the Socceroo team! While both Tommy Oar and Lucas Neill stand as Australia’s latest young talent, with both players exhibiting healthy and formidable sides for Australia! So buy your Socceroos tickets now, and don’t miss out the chance to support the Socceroos!