Socceroos’ failure is a blessing in disguise

Phil Roar Rookie

By , Phil is a Roar Rookie

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    It is what it is. The Socceroos didn’t automatically qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia, after they failed to obliterate Thailand on the scoresheet like many had predicted.

    Now if it is to be done, it is to be done the hard way.

    A home-and-away play off against Syria is locked in for early October, with a meeting against the fourth-placed CONCACAF team the prize for the victor. The winner of that second tie will progress to the big show.

    Is this the pathway we envisaged to make the World Cup? Most fans would say absolutely not. Maybe our own expectations have got the better of us? Maybe qualifying through Asia isn’t as straightforward as everyone thinks?

    Whatever the case, this is the wake-up call Australian football needed.

    Instead of being scared of the play-offs, let’s embrace them. These games will have huge interest around the country, reaching those who usually have nothing to do with football, the Socceroos gaining attention that has been missing since the 2015 Asian Cup triumph.

    Just a few months ago, 95,000 turned up to Argentina versus Brazil at the MCG, with less than 50,000 showing up a few days later for Australia versus Brazil. That speaks volumes for how the Australian public see the national team.

    But it’s ok. That can change. The predicament the Socceroos have left themselves in gives them the chance to become heroes.

    The do-or-die nature of the upcoming contests can turn players who we know have potential into household names.

    Now is the time to get behind the national team. The road to Russia is more difficult, but the potential reward is now that much sweeter.

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