Monday, October 25, 2010

Australia national football team and It's Great Achievement

Australia national association football team-2010

The Australia national football team represents Australia in international association football competitions. Its official nickname is the "Socceroos". The team is controlled by Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation and also an invitee member of the ASEAN Football Federation since 2006. 
Shirt badge/Association crest

For current information on this topic, see Australia national football team season 2010.
Nickname(s) Socceroos
Association Football Federation Australia (FFA)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Germany Holger Osieck
Captain Lucas Neill
Most caps Alex Tobin (87)
Top scorer Damian Mori (29)
Home stadium ANZ Stadium (Sydney)
Sydney Football Stadium
Etihad Stadium (Melbourne)
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Suncorp Stadium (Brisbane)
FIFA ranking 21
Highest FIFA ranking 14 (September 2009)
Lowest FIFA ranking 92 (June 2000)
Elo ranking 19
Highest Elo ranking 9 (November 2001)
Lowest Elo ranking 75 (November 1965)

Home colours
Away colours
First international
 New Zealand 3 – 1 Australia 
(Dunedin, New Zealand; 17 June 1922)
Biggest win
 Australia 31 – 0 American Samoa 
(Coffs Harbour, Australia; 11 April 2001)
(World Record for international matches)
Biggest defeat
 Australia 0–8 South Africa 
(Adelaide, Australia; 17 September 1955)
World Cup
Appearances 3 (First in 1974)
Best result Round of 16, 2006
AFC Asian Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 2007)
Best result Quarterfinals, 2007
OFC Nations Cup
Appearances 6 (First in 1980)
Best result Champions, 1980, 1996,
2000, 2004
Confederations Cup
Appearances 3 (First in 1997)
Best result Runners-up, 1997

The Australia national association football team represents Australia in international association football competitions. Its official nickname is the "Socceroos". The team is controlled by Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and also an invitee member of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since 2006.

Australia is a four-time Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) champion and has been represented at three FIFA World Cup tournaments, in 1974, 2006 and 2010. Australia topped their group in the 2010 World Cup qualification without losing a match and only conceding one goal, and became one of the first nations to qualify for the finals tournament: during the qualification, they reached their highest placing, 14th, in the FIFA World Rankings. However, Australia failed to progress past the group stage in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.


The first Australian national team was constituted in 1922 for a tour of New Zealand. During the tour, Australia suffered two defeats and scraped a draw. Australia, New Zealand, Republic of China and South Africa became regular opponents in "Test" or "Friendly" matches for the next 25 years. With the advent of cheap air travel, Australia diversified its range of opponents. However, its geographical isolation continued to play a role in its destiny for the next 80 years.

 Early World Cup campaigns-

The Australian national team first played at the World Cup finals in West Germany in 1974 after having missed out in play-offs in 1966 and 1970, losing to North Korea and Israel respectively. It would prove to be their only appearance until 2006.

The road to the 1974 World Cup began with a series of home and away matches against Iraq, New Zealand, and Indonesia. The Socceroos, having won this tournament, then played and won a two-legged fixture against one of the Socceroos' biggest rivals Iran, managing to hold on to a slim overall lead in front of 120,000 Iranian fans in the Azadi Stadium, Tehran, during the second leg. South Korea, having itself knocked out Israel at the equivalent stage, was then drawn as Australia's final hurdle. Over the course of another two-legged playoff the scores remained even, and so a deciding match was played in Hong Kong. Australia won this match, through a Jimmy Mackay goal, scored off a free kick.

The team performed with honour at the 1974 World Cup, and although unable to overcome the professional teams from host nations East and West Germany, the Socceroos, captained by local amateur Peter Wilson, did manage a scoreless draw against Chile. It was to be the last appearance for the Australian team until the World Cup tournament returned to Germany more than three decades later. Over that 32 year time span, the Australian team was known for its near misses in its attempts to qualify for the World Cup, most notably 1998 against Iran and 2002 against Uruguay.
Before that, they lost play-offs in 1966 (to North Korea), 1970 (to Israel), 1986 (to Scotland), and 1994 (to Argentina).

USA 1994 qualifying campaign-

Australia's road to USA 94 is an example of the difficult qualifying path which members of the Oceania confederation have had to endure. In order to qualify for USA 94, Australia had to endure 3 playoff stages. The first stage was the Oceania playoff. Australia finished on top of Group 1 in Oceania going undefeated in four games against weaker sides Tahiti and the Solomon Islands and scoring thirteen goals over the four games. Australia played New Zealand in the Oceania playoff. The first leg was played in New Zealand on 30 May 1993, with Australia winning the game 1–0. Australia won the return leg 3–0 to win the playoff stage with a 4–0 aggregate score. Having won the Oceania playoff, Australia now had to win a 2-leg playoff against Canada, the CONCACAF runner up. The first leg was played in Canada on 31 July 1993, with the Canadians winning the 1st leg 2–1. In the second leg, which was played on 15 August 1993 in Sydney, Australia managed a 2–1 win which saw the game go into extra time after a 3–3 aggregate scoreline.

The game went into a penalty shootout which was won by Australia 4–1. Australia then qualified for the 2-leg playoff against the South American group 1 runner up, Argentina. The first leg was played in Sydney on 31 October 1993. The 1st leg ended with a 1–1 draw. On 17 November 1993, the second leg was played in Argentina, with Argentina winning 1–0 and denying Australia a place at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. After the game Argentine legend Diego Maradona was so impressed with the Socceroos performance that he said to then captain Paul Wade "Your tears of pain, will one day be tears of joy".[citation needed] Just to qualify for the 1994 World Cup Australia would have had to beat Argentina, the runners-up from the 1990 World Cup, and ranked 9th in the world at that time.

 France 1998 qualifying campaign-

In 1997 Australia failed to qualify for the World Cup finals despite being undefeated in the qualifying rounds. After winning the OFC qualifying tournament, Australia had to play Iran over two legs in one week, with the winner progressing to the World Cup finals to be held in France. Australia, under coach Terry Venables, tied the away leg 1–1 and looked like they were going to proceed to the finals in France, initially leading 2–0 in the home game in Melbourne, until Iran managed to score two late goals to tie the game and progress to the finals on the away goals rule. This match has been named one of the most memorable matches by many of the retired Australian and Iranian football players. At the time the crowd that packed the MCG was the highest ever for an association football match in Australia.

 Korea/Japan 2002 qualifying campaign-

In 2001 Australia again won the Oceania Confederation qualifying tournament for 2002 FIFA World Cup. Second and third-string lineups thrashed a number of tiny island nations in a competition that made a mockery of the Confederation, including a world-record 22–0 win against Tonga, then smashed that record with a 31–0 win over American Samoa only two days later. Still missing Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka, Australia comfortably beat New Zealand, their only real threat in the Oceania confederation. Australia then once again had to win a two leg playoff in November, in order to advance to the World Cup finals to be held in South Korea and Japan.

On this occasion the opposition was the 5th placed South American team, Uruguay. In the preceding four months Uruguay's preparation had been six World Cup qualifying matches, as follows: beat #2 ranked Brazil 1:0; drew 1:1 with #8 ranked Colombia; drew 1:1 with #2 ranked Argentina. In contrast, Australia's preparation had included no qualifying games since two matches in 4 days in June, against #81 ranked New Zealand, although had played two friendly matches – a loss to Japan in August and a 1:1 draw with France in November.

In the first leg in Melbourne, Australia won 1–0 after Kevin Muscat scored from a penalty kick; however, Australia's qualification campaign ended unsuccessfully as they lost 3–0 in the away leg in Montevideo just five days later with the South Americans proving too strong.

 Outside qualification campaigns-

The team's previously miserable record in World Cup competition was not reflected in their reasonable performances against strong European and South American sides, with victories in the 2001 Confederations Cup against France and Brazil. Australia finished the competition in 3rd place after a 3rd place play-off win against Brazil.

Australia also drew with France 1–1 in Melbourne in November 2001. A highlight for Australian football was the 3–1 victory over England in a friendly in London in 2003.

 Germany 2006 qualifying campaign-

In 2004, the team took the first steps towards qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup by topping the round-robin stage of the Oceania Football Confederation World Cup qualification tournament. The team drew 2–2 with the Solomon Islands, which combined with other results put that team ahead of New Zealand in the standings and meaning that the Solomon Islands qualified for the final playoff rather than the expected New Zealand.

Australia faces Germany in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup
Coach Frank Farina stood down from the position by "mutual consent" on 29 June 2005 after Australia failed to win a game at the 2005 Confederations Cup, citing ever increasing speculation over his position. On 22 July, Guus Hiddink was announced by FIFA as the new national coach. This announcement came after intense speculation by the Australian media over potential candidates and even a premature announcement from Hiddink himself. Hiddink combined his roles as manager of Dutch club PSV Eindhoven with that of Australia, and remained the coach of Australia until the end of the Australian team's 2006 World Cup campaign, after which he accepted a position coaching Russia.

After some initial training sessions with the Australian team in the Netherlands, his first campaign as national coach resulted in a 11–1 aggregate win over the Solomon Islands in the OFC Qualifying Tournament Final. The remaining task for Hiddink and Australia was the Oceania-South America playoff against the fifth placed team from the CONMEBOL Qualifying Tournament for a place in the World Cup.

In October 2005, Australia beat Jamaica 5–0 in a friendly in London. The win was the Socceroos' biggest win against a team ranked higher than them in the FIFA World Rankings list and also Australia's biggest win against a country which has participated in the World Cup.

Australia, ranked #49, then moved on to play 18th ranked Uruguay in a rematch of the qualifying matches in 2001. Again, there was a huge contrast in preparation. Australia had only two recent qualifying matches, against #138 Solomon Islands, only three days apart. Uruguay's preparation had included four qualifying matches, in the previous two months, including: beaten #26 Colombia, drawn with #33 Ecuador, and beaten #4 Argentina.

Fearing a repeat of security problems which occurred in Montevideo in 2001, Australia announced that they would hold their training sessions in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and would only stay in Montevideo for the game. Uruguay called for the first leg to be moved a day earlier, to 11 November. This idea was rejected by Australia.[citation needed] As a result, Uruguay had announced that they had moved the kick off time back five hours to 9:00 p.m. local time on 12 November. This meant that Australia would miss their direct flight back to Sydney for the second leg. This would also mean that Uruguay would have an extra day of preparation for the second leg.
However, this plan backfired on the Uruguayans. Their plans to charter a plane for a direct flight to Sydney fell through (they ended up flying over in economy class seating on a regular commercial flight). When Uruguay asked to move the kickoff back, Australia, which by that time had arranged, with their sponsor Qantas, a specially fitted out 767 (which included massage tables, and much room and space) for immediately after the game, refused. Eventually, FIFA stepped in and ordered the kickoff moved back to 6:00 p.m. local time.

Australia playing Uruguay at ANZ Stadium (formerly Telstra Stadium) in 2005; the match is in the second period of extra time.
Uruguay defeated Australia 1–0 in Montevideo on 12 November 2005, after a header from Dario Rodriguez. Australia had the better of their Uruguayan opponents for a lot of the match, but they could not capitalise on their opportunities. In Sydney, on 16 November for the second leg of the qualifying series and in front of 82,698 fans at Telstra Stadium,[citation needed] Australia led Uruguay 1–0 after 90 minutes following a goal by Mark Bresciano in the first half. The aggregate was tied, and extra time was played. Neither team scored after two periods of extra time, bringing the game to a penalty shootout. Australia won the penalty shootout 4–2, making Australia the only team to ever qualify for a World Cup via a penalty shootout. Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer made two saves and John Aloisi scored the winning penalty.

The resulting win led to scenes of celebration across the country, as the Socceroos qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, their first qualification in 32 years.
Immediately after that qualification, Australia went into the 2006 World Cup as the second lowest-ranked side. Their ranking on the FIFA World Rankings improved in subsequent months, leapfrogging other qualified countries.

 Acceptance into the AFC-

Many commentators and fans felt that the only way for Australia to progress was to abandon the Oceania Football Confederation. Football had developed over time to place increasing importance on tournaments rather than friendly matches. This established the Continental championships and their qualifiers as the major source of competitive matches for national teams. This served to starve Australia of potential opponents and resulted in long gaps between fixtures for the national team.

Football broadcaster and former Socceroos captain Johnny Warren, expressed his desire for Australia to join Asia. Despite previous attempts to do so, each notoriously ending in failure, a story was leaked from Tokyo in March 2005 suggesting that FIFA had entered into secret discussions with the AFC on this very issue. On 23 March, the AFC Executive Committee made a unanimous decision to invite Australia to join the AFC.
AFC President, Mohammed Bin Hammam, outlined reasons for this decision.

As well as being a developed football nation, Australia brings a developed economy and this is actually what we want in football. Besides Japan, Korea, China and Saudi Arabia if Australia joins the benefits are huge, this is what we're after.
On 17 April, the OFC executive committee unanimously endorsed Australia's proposed move. FIFA approved the move on 30 June, and it took effect on 1 January 2006. Earlier, on 1 December, the AFC Executive Committee announced that Australia will be put into the ASEAN zone. Currently, Australia is an invitee member of ASEAN Football Federation.

Australia was duly entered into the 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualification. On 4 January, Australia was drawn into group D, alongside Bahrain, Lebanon and Kuwait. Lebanon later withdrew due to recent military conflict in the area. Australia's first game as a member of the AFC was on 22 February, a 3–1 win away to Bahrain in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualification. They subsequently qualified for the finals on 16 August after defeating Kuwait 2–0.

 Preparation for Germany 2006-

Australia was placed into 2006 World Cup Group F, along with Japan, Croatia and defending champions Brazil.
In late December 2005, Coach Guus Hiddink appointed former Dutch player, Johan Neeskens, as Assistant Coach, to work alongside Graham Arnold, Ron Smith, Tony Franken and Anthony Crea.

On 13 February 2006, Australia launched a new home and away strip for the World Cup. The home strip, similar to the 1974 outfit, is an entirely yellow shirt with green shorts. The away strip is entirely obsidian blue with yellow trimmings (the heraldic colours of Australia). The jerseys were launched at a lavish ceremony at the Berlin Olympic Stadium in Berlin. On 17 March 2006, the FIFA World Cup trophy visited Sydney on its tour around the world.

While the team was preparing for the World Cup, Socceroos player Tony Vidmar was ruled out after being diagnosed with a heart condition. In all, the squad that won the qualification matches saw 5 changes in the lead-up the World Cup finals. Joel Griffiths, Ahmad Elrich, Ljubo Milicevic, Tony Vidmar and Michael Thwaite were replaced by Joshua Kennedy, Mile Sterjovski, Michael Beauchamp, Craig Moore and Mark Milligan respectively.

As part of a national support effort for the Socceroos in Australia, the television network SBS ran a competition, "Song for the Socceroos", in order to select a World Cup anthem for the Socceroos. The winning song "Green and Gold" was announced on 16 May.

On 25 May 2006 in Melbourne, Australia played a friendly against Greece, then current European Champions, and ranked #20 in FIFA rankings. Australia won 1–0 thanks to a Josip Skoko volley early on in the match. The match, at the 100,000 capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, was sold out in only 2 hours, and was a great sendoff for Australia from home soil, despite the questionable quality of the Greek performance.
Australia played the Netherlands in a friendly match in Rotterdam on 4 June. The Dutch, ranked #3 in the world, went ahead in the 9th minute after goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer parried a Ruud van Nistelrooy shot, the Socceroos failed to clear the ball and van Nistelrooy scored with a follow-up strike. Australia's Tim Cahill equalised in the 53rd minute following a goal-line scramble after Mark Viduka hit the crossbar from a penalty kick. The match ended in a 1–1 draw. The only blemish was the dismissal of defender Luke Wilkshire in the 61st minute, after a wild challenge on Giovanni van Bronckhorst. The next day, the Socceroos left for Germany.

Australia played a final pre-World Cup friendly against 123rd-ranked Liechtenstein on 7 June. Defender Lucas Neill headed an own goal in the 8th minute, giving Liechtenstein the lead until Mile Sterjovski equalised in the 20th. Australia struggled to gain a lead on their opponents until the final 15 minutes when a goal each from Joshua Kennedy and John Aloisi won Australia the game 3–1.

 Germany 2006-

While in Germany for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Socceroos stayed in the town of Öhringen. Just days before Australia's first World Cup match against Japan, it was reported in the west that the Japan Football Association chairman claimed the Socceroos were "guilty of a lot of dirty fouls" and that "they target ankles in particular." However, a further scrutiny of the original Japanese script reveals that there was a misinterpretation by the western media, possibly to spice up the competition. While it is unclear who started this mistranslation, deliberately or otherwise, Saburo Kawabuchi of Japan Football Association later commented that this would not be the first or the last time mistranslation happens and should not be taken too seriously.

On 12 June, the Socceroos defeated Japan 3–1 in their opening game in Kaiserslautern, with Tim Cahill scoring two goals (84', 89') and John Aloisi scoring one (92+') in the last eight minutes to claim their first World Cup finals victory. An early controversial call by Egyptian referee Essam Abd El Fatah, that awarded a goal (26') to Shunsuke Nakamura, despite an apparent foul to Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, had the Australians playing catch-up until the last eight minutes. Schwarzer and Viduka claimed that Abd El Fatah apologised over allowing Nakamura's goal to stand after the incident, admitting he had made a mistake, although Abd El Fatah later denied making an apology and said that "FIFA's refereeing committee... agreed unanimously that Japan's goal against Australia was correct." Both Cahill and Aloisi came in as substitutes in the second half of the game. Their goals were the first ever scored by Australia in the World Cup Finals, and Australia became the first team in the 2006 tournament to come back after being 1–0 down. Also, no other team has scored three goals in the last seven minutes of a match in World Cup finals history.

On 18 June, hours before Australia's second game against world champions Brazil, a British newspaper claimed that several Australian players had placed bets amongst themselves, which was said to be against FIFA regulations. Tim Cahill admitted that teammates Lucas Neill and Archie Thompson bet that Cahill would score the first ever Australian goal at the World Cup. Mark Viduka also said that the players were taking bets on who was going to be the first to score, and that goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac was the bookmaker. FIFA have since cleared all players of any wrongdoing, by interpreting their regulations as referring to betting with professional bookmakers, rather than betting within a team.

Australia met Brazil in their second Group F game in Munich on 18 June. The Australians held Brazil to a 0–0 half time scoreline before Adriano put Brazil in front (49'). Brazil substitute Fred scored (90') with the help of substitute Robinho to give Brazil a 2–0 win, which saw the Brazilians go through to the second round.
A day later, following the Brazil game, Harry Kewell was in hot water after an altercation with the referee from the Brazil game. FIFA announced that it would investigate the incident. On 20 June, charges were dismissed against Kewell due to "inconsistent reporting by match officials", allowing him to play the next game against Croatia.

On 22 June, Australia faced Croatia in Stuttgart. The final score was 2–2. A goal from Darijo Srna in the second minute put Australia on the back foot. Australia equalised with a penalty goal from Craig Moore (38') after Croatian defender Stjepan Tomas handballed near the Croatian goal. Niko Kovac gave Croatia a 2–1 lead after halftime before Australia equalised again through Harry Kewell (79') in a moment described by SBS broadcast commentator Simon Hill as "well, it just had to be Harry". Kewell appeared to be offside for the goal, in a match riddled with errors. The referee Graham Poll dismissed calls for a penalty in the 5th minute when Croatia's Josip Šimunić literally wrestled striker Mark Viduka to the ground near goal. Despite penalising Croatia for Stjepan Tomas' handball in the 39th minute, he failed to penalise Tomas for exactly the same deed in the 75th minute, when Australia were trying to equalise again. Towards the end of the match, Poll blew the final whistle at the moment that John Aloisi scored what would have been a winning goal, and then blew the final whistle again, before presenting Simunic with three yellow cards and then sending him off after the final whistle.. Here, Simunic is the world record holder for "Most Yellow Cards in a Football Match." Poll issued eight yellow cards resulting in three expulsions. Brett Emerton was sent off for his second bookable offence (although he was already suspended for the next match for receiving his second yellow card of the group stage earlier in the match). The Daily Telegraph reported on 25 June that Graham Poll was dismissed from World Cup refereeing duties by FIFA, who claimed that his mistake was "unacceptable". As Brazil beat Japan 4–1, Australia proceeded to the next round to face Italy.

On 26 June, Australia met Italy in Kaiserslautern. Kewell was unavailable for the game, entering the stadium on crutches reportedly suffering from an attack of gout and infected blisters (later diagnosed as septic arthritis). The score at half-time was 0–0. Italy went down to 10 men due to the red card (51') given to Marco Materazzi for a two-footed tackle on Mark Bresciano. Otherwise, six yellow cards were issued in total. Almost three minutes into stoppage time, with the score still at 0–0 and Australia being pushed into their own half, a controversial penalty was awarded to Italy when Fabio Grosso fell under a Lucas Neill challenge in the final seconds of the match. Francesco Totti scored from the spot (95') and the game ended immediately with Australia eliminated. Coach Guus Hiddink officially ended his reign as the coach of the Socceroos following the 1–0 loss to Italy and took the managerial job with Russia. Australian assistant coach Graham Arnold branded the penalty a "joke", to the agreement of several Australian players, including Tim Cahill, who believed Grosso should have been cautioned for diving.

 Asian Cup 2007-

Australia, led by Graham Arnold, went to their first Asian Cup sending a strong squad which included 15 players from the World Cup team. Australia was drawn in Group A alongside (co-host) Thailand, Oman and Iraq.

In their first match, Australia were only able to earn a 1–1 draw against a lower-ranked Oman team. Australia played poorly, with Oman leading for most of the match after Badar Al-Maimani scored in the 32nd minute, but were once again saved by Tim Cahill who scored a late equaliser in the 92nd minute after coming on as a substitute in the second half.

Australia lost their second group match 3–1 to eventual Asian Cup winners Iraq, with Lucas Neill receiving a red card (90'), following two yellow cards. Mark Viduka scored the lone goal for the Australians in the 47th minute of the match which at that point in the game was the equaliser but Iraq scored another two goals to win.

In the third match of the group stage, Australia defeated Thailand 4–0 with Mark Viduka scoring two goals, with Michael Beauchamp and Harry Kewell scoring one goal each. The victory assured Australia's progression to the quarter final stage of the tournament.

After drawing 1–1 with Japan after extra time, Australia exited the tournament on penalties at the quarter final stage. The first two Australian penalty kicks were both unsuccessful by Harry Kewell and Lucas Neill with Australia eventually bowing out 4–3 to end their inaugural participation in Asia's most prestigious football tournament.

In a friendly international at the MCG on 11 September 2007, the Socceroos were defeated by Argentina one goal to nil. The friendly was Graham Arnold's last game as head coach. It had been widely speculated that Dutchman Dick Advocaat would take over as Head Coach for the Socceroos 2010 World Cup Qualifiers by the end of 2007 but he backed out of a contract with the FFA to continue coaching Zenit Petersburg.[citation needed] It has been reported that FFA is considering legal action against both person and club.[citation needed] As a result the Socceroo's head coach position was left open, with technical director Rob Baan the caretaker for a match against Nigeria at Loftus Road, London (Australia winning 1–0.) The position was filled on 6 December 2007 when the FFA announced Pim Verbeek as the new head coach.

 South Africa 2010 qualifying campaign-

The Socceroos were seeded to enter the AFC qualification campaign in the third round alongside Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan. They were drawn into a group comprising of Qatar, Iraq and China with the media dubbing it the "group of death". Fixtures started in February 2008, with a home match against Qatar at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne giving Australia a 3–0 victory. This was Pim Verbeek's first competitive match in charge of the Socceroos. The majority of the Australian squad consisted of overseas, mainly European based, players after Pim Verbeek announced the local A-league was not yet up to World Cup standards. A week after the match, Australia moved up to 38th on the FIFA World Rankings.

In the second group game, Australia drew 0–0 with China with Mark Schwarzer saving a penalty in the last few minutes. In their 3rd out of 6 qualifiers on Sunday, 1 June, Australia beat Iraq at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, 1–0, with a headed goal from Harry Kewell proving the difference between the two teams early in the 2nd half of play. In the return match in Dubai, Iraq defeated Australia 1–0 through a wonder strike from Emad Mohammed. Australia then defeated Qatar 3–1 on 14 June in Doha to progress to the fourth round of the AFC qualifiers. Their final game in 3rd round qualifying ended in a 1–0 home defeat to China.

Australia was drawn alongside Japan, Bahrain, Qatar and Uzbekistan in the fourth round of Asian World Cup qualification, which commenced with a 1–0 victory over the Uzbeks in Tashkent on 10 September 2008. Scott Chipperfield's run was unmarked and he comfortably headed in a Luke Wilkshire cross. They then proceeded to beat Qatar 4–0 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, to go top of the group, with goals scored by Tim Cahill and Josh Kennedy with Brett Emerton scoring a brace for the home side.

The game was delayed 30min (and close to abandoned) after a torrential rainstorm hit Brisbane Stadium prior to the match. Their next match was against Bahrain on the 19th of November. Australia managed a 1–0 victory despite a brilliant performance by the Bahrainis and a disappointing performance by Australia. Both the Australian coach and players admitted they were lucky to take the points which came courtesy of a Marco Bresciano goal in the 93rd minute. They dedicated the win to Craig Moore who missed the match following surgery for testicular cancer. Australia remained top of the group with 10 points after 4 games following a 0–0 draw away against Japan. The Socceroos were on the brink of qualifying after a convincing 2–0 win over Uzbekistan on 1 April in Sydney. After a lacklustre first half, the Socceroos scored two goals with a Josh Kennedy header in the 66th minute and a Harry Kewell penalty in the 73rd minute after Richard Garcia was taken down in the penalty box. Australia then secured their place in South Africa after holding Qatar 0–0 at Doha on 5 June.

Australia's qualification was already assured before the final two games, both home fixtures. In Sydney on Wednesday 10 June, goals to Mile Sterjovski and David Carney gave Australia a 2–0 victory over Bahrain. Australia's final qualification game ended with a 2–1 victory over Japan, Australia coming back from a goal in the 40th minute by Japan's Marcus Tulio Tanaka with Tim Cahill's equalising header in the 59th minute, and his winning goal 17 minutes later off a Nicky Carle corner. This victory left Australia top of Group A ahead of Japan by 5 clear points.

 Australia at 2010 World Cup in South Africa-

Australia played Germany on 14 June 2010 at Durban, as part of the Group D competition. Australia was defeated 4–0 by Germany, with goals by Podolski and Klose in the first half, followed by two more goals in the second half after Australia was reduced to ten men during the second half, due to Tim Cahill being sent off with a red card for a tackle from behind.

Australia's second group match against Ghana resulted in a draw of 1–1. Australia shot its only goal early in the first half by Brett Holman. Shortly after, Ghana scored after Harry Kewell committed a handball in the penalty box, earning a red card and a penalty kick, which Ghanaian player Asamoah Gyan used to score the equalizing goal.

In their last match Australia defeated Serbia 2–1, due to a trademark header from Tim Cahill and an impressive long range effort from Brett Holman but failed to advance to the knockout stage based on goal differential.

 Asian Cup 2011 qualification-

The Socceroos were drawn in Group B for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifying stage along with Oman, Kuwait and Indonesia. The top two teams from the group progressed to the finals in Qatar. Australia progressed through to the 2011 finals in Qatar, topping Group B with 11 points with Kuwait coming in second with 8 points.

28 January 2009
Indonesia  0 – 0  Australia
5 March 2009
Australia  0 – 1  Kuwait
14 October 2009
Australia  1 – 0  Oman
14 November 2009
Oman  1 – 2  Australia
6 January 2010
Kuwait  2 – 2  Australia
3 March 2010
Australia  1 – 0  Indonesia

 Asian Cup 2011-

Australia have been drawn against Bahrain, India and South Korea in the group stages of the 2011 Asian Cup.
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Korea Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 India 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Bahrain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 January 2011
16:15 UTC+3
India  v  Australia Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium

14 January 2011
16:15 UTC+3
Australia  v  Korea Republic Al Gharafa Stadium

18 January 2011
16:15 UTC+3
Australia  v  Bahrain Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium


 Tournament records-

 FIFA World Cup:

FIFA World Cup Record
Hosts / Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA
1930 to 1962 Not a FIFA member

1966 to 1970 Did not qualify

West Germany 1974 Group Stage 14 3 0 1 2 0 5
1978 to 2002 Did not qualify

Germany 2006 Round of 16 16 4 1 1 2 5 6
South Africa 2010 Group Stage 21 3 1 1 1 3 6
Total 3/19
10 2 3 5 8 17
FIFA World Cup History
Year Round Opponent Result
1974 Round 1  East Germany 0–2
Round 1  West Germany 0–3
Round 1  Chile 0–0
2006 Round 1  Japan 3–1
Round 1  Brazil 0–2
Round 1  Croatia 2–2
Round 2  Italy 0–1
2010 Round 1  Germany 0–4
Round 1  Ghana 1–1
Round 1  Serbia 2–1

FIFA Confederations Cup-

Year Result Pld W D L GF GA
Saudi Arabia 1992 No OFC Representative was Invited
Saudi Arabia 1995
Saudi Arabia 1997 Runners-Up 5 2 1 2 4 8
Mexico 1999 Did not qualify
South KoreaJapan 2001 Third Place 5 3 0 2 4 2
France 2003 Did not qualify
Germany 2005 Round 1 3 0 0 3 5 10
South Africa 2009 Did not qualify
Brazil 2013 To Be Decided
Total 3/8 13 5 1 7 13 20

 OFC Oceania Nations Cup-

Australia left OFC at the end of 2005.
Year Result Pld W D L GF GA
New Zealand 1973 Did not participate
New Caledonia 1980 Champions 4 4 0 0 24 2
1996 Champions 4 3 1 0 14 0
Australia 1998 Runners-Up 4 3 0 1 23 3
French Polynesia 2000 Champions 4 4 0 0 26 0
New Zealand 2002 Runners-Up 5 4 0 1 23 2
Australia 2004 Champions 7 6 1 0 32 4
28 24 2 2 142 11

 AFC Asian Cup-

Australia joined AFC in 2006.
Year Result Pld W D L GF GA
IndonesiaMalaysiaThailandVietnam 2007 Quarter-finals 4 1 1 2 7 5
Qatar 2011 Qualified - - - - - -
4 1 1 2 7 5

 Other records-

Australia currently hold the world record for the largest win and the most goals scored by a player in an international match. Both records were recorded during the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification match against American Samoa on 11 April 2001. Australia won 31–0 with Archie Thompson scoring 13 goals and David Zdrilic scoring 8 goals. Two days before the 31–0 win, Australia broke the record for largest win with a 22–0 win over Tonga. Both wins surpassed the previous record held by Kuwait who beat Bhutan 20–0 on 14 February 2000.

With 13 and 8 goals respectively, both Thompson and Zdrilic broke the previous record jointly held by another Australian, Gary Cole, who scored seven goals against Fiji in 1981, and Iranian Karim Bagheri, who also scored seven goals against Maldives in 1997. Some sources mentioned that the previous record was 10 goals, which was achieved by Denmark's Sophus Nielsen at the 1908 Olympics and Germany's Gottfried Fuchs an the 1912 Olympics. These matches, although fully recognised by FIFA as official matches, were played by amateur players.

Most goals in a match-

Record in bold is the current world record.
# Goals Player Score Opponent Competition Date
1 13 Archie Thompson 31–0 American Samoa 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 11 April 2001
2 8 David Zdrillic 31–0 American Samoa 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 11 April 2001
3 7 Gary Cole 10–0 Fiji 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification 14 August 1981
4 6 John Aloisi 22–0 Tonga 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 9 April 2001
6 Frank Parsons 08–1 New Zealand Friendly 11 September 1948
5 5 John Aloisi 13–0 Solomon Islands 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 11 June 1997
5 Damian Mori 13–0 Solomon Islands 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 11 June 1997
5 George Smith 10–0 New Zealand Friendly 11 July 1936

 Largest wins:

Record in bold is the current world record.
# Score Opponent Competition Date
1 31–0 American Samoa 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 11 April 2001
2 22–0 Tonga 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 9 April 2001
3 17–0 Cook Islands 2000 OFC Nations Cup 19 June 2000
4 16–0 Cook Islands 1998 OFC Nations Cup 28 September 1998
5 13–0 Solomon Islands 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 11 June 1997
Australia will play Egypt


 Current squad-

The following players were named by Holger Osieck for the friendly match against Paraguay on 9 October.

Caps and goals as of 9 October 2010, including the match against Paraguay.
# Name Date of Birth (Age) Clubs Caps (Goals)

Mark Schwarzer (C) 6 October 1972 (1972-10-06) (age 38) England Fulham 81 (0)

Eugene Galeković 12 June 1981 (1981-06-12) (age 29) Australia Adelaide United 4 (0)

Luke Wilkshire 1 October 1981 (1981-10-01) (age 29) Russia Dynamo Moscow 49 (3)

David Carney 3 November 1983 (1983-11-03) (age 26) England Blackpool 31 (3)

Jade North 7 January 1982 (1982-01-07) (age 28) New Zealand Wellington Phoenix 30 (0)

Jon McKain 21 September 1982 (1982-09-21) (age 28) Saudi Arabia Al-Nassr 14 (0)

Michael Thwaite 2 May 1983 (1983-05-02) (age 27) Australia Gold Coast United 6 (0)

Jason Čulina 5 August 1980 (1980-08-05) (age 30) Australia Gold Coast United 55 (1)

Tim Cahill 6 December 1979 (1979-12-06) (age 30) England Everton 45 (21)

Carl Valeri 14 August 1984 (1984-08-14) (age 26) Italy Sassuolo 28 (0)

Mile Jedinak 3 August 1984 (1984-08-03) (age 26) Turkey Gençlerbirliği 15 (0)

Richard García 4 September 1981 (1981-09-04) (age 29) England Hull City 13 (0)

Dario Vidošić 12 April 1987 (1987-04-12) (age 23) Germany 1. FC Nuremberg 11 (1)

Matt McKay 11 January 1983 (1983-01-11) (age 27) Australia Brisbane Roar 5 (0)

Harry Kewell 22 September 1978 (1978-09-22) (age 32) Turkey Galatasaray 47 (13)

Joshua Kennedy 20 August 1982 (1982-08-20) (age 28) Japan Nagoya Grampus 22 (7)

Scott McDonald 21 August 1983 (1983-08-21) (age 27) England Middlesbrough 19 (0)

Alex Brosque 12 October 1983 (1983-10-12) (age 27) Australia Sydney FC 5 (0)



Sponsorship has generally been hard to find for the Socceroos as until 2005 football (soccer) in Australia was not seen as an attractive investment for companies. After Australia qualified for the 2006 World Cup potential sponsors saw the Socceroos profile rise and jumped on board the so called 'bandwagon'.
Currently the Socceroos are sponsored by Qantas, the Major Sponsor, and Nike, the Kit Supplier. Other sponsors include Foxtel, Hyundai, NAB, Powerade, Optus & Westfield.

 Media coverage-

Games are broadcast by SBS and Fox Sports Australia. The 2006 World Cup Qualification game against Uruguay was the highest rating program in SBS history and a 2010 World Cup Qualification game against Japan set a record for the highest subscription television audience according to ASTRA ratings.
In the United States, qualifiers are broadcast by Fox Soccer Channel.

28 May 2009 ... Australian national football coach Pim Verbeek has named the Socceroos team to participate in the teams remaining qualifiers for the 2010 .

10 Oct 2010 ... Australia national football team profile on Times of India. ... Australia defeated the 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists 1-0. 

The latest news on Australia national football team, from thousands of sources worldwide. ... Serbian National Football Team (2010 FIFA World Cup) ..

Australia National Football Team TV and Online Streaming Schedules. ... 2010 Live Soccer TV. All Rights Reserved. 21 Apr 2010 ... Australia national team known as SOCCEROOS is controlled by Football Federation Australia (FFA), Which is currently a member of Asian ..

Australia national team known as SOCCEROOS is controlled by Football Federation Australia (FFA), Which is currently a member of Asian Football Confederation.
Australia qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and to join in Goup D and will facing Germany, Serbia and Ghana.
Australia national team squad is currently not been built yet.

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    The Australia national football team represents Australia in international association football competitions. Its official nickname is the "Socceroos". The team is controlled by Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation and also an invitee member of the ASEAN Football Federation since 2006.

 From Wikipedia-


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