Socceroos – Australian men’s national football team

Last updated: 28 February, 2017

Matthew Leckie Australia Socceroos 2016 FootballThe Socceroos’ history stems from the first Australian national football team which was convened in 1922. The nickname ‘Socceroos’ was coined by journalist Tony Horstead in 1967, but it wasn’t until reaching the 1974 World Cup finals that the side came to prominence.

After switching to the Asian Football Confederation in 2005, the Socceroos confirmed their second World Cup finals appearance the same year thanks to an aggregate win over South American powerhouses Uruguay on penalties in their final round of qualifiers. John Aloisi’s match-winning penalty kick will remain as one of the most iconic moments in Australian sporting history for quite some time yet.

A respectable Round of 26 finish at the World Cup in 2006 – in which Italy only just scraped past the Socceroos thanks to a contentious last-minute penalty – was followed by a less impressive Asian Cup debut in 2007. In sweltering conditions in south-east Asia, Australia crashed out on penalties in the quarter-finals against fierce rivals Japan.

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The Socceroos sealed qualification for their second consecutive World Cup appearance in 2009, and went into the 2010 tournament with high expectations for an experienced squad under the instruction of Dutch coach Pim Verbeek. However, the tournament began disastrously with a 4-0 loss to Germany, and the Socceroos were bundled out in the first round.

Under new coach Holger Osieck, the Socceroos enjoyed a far more successful 2011 Asian Cup, making it all the way to the final before losing in extra-time to Japan.

Osieck did guide the side to the third-straight World Cup qualification, but with less than a year to go to the tournament, the German coach was sacked after overseeing two 6-0 losses – one against Brazil, the other against France – within the space of a month.

Osieck’s departure paved the way for Ange Postecoglou to take the reigns of the national side, and while the Socceroos didn’t win a game in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the tournament was still considered something of a success. Placed in the toughest group, Australia pushed Chile all the way before eventually going down 3-1, and gave the Netherlands a mighty fright in one of the games of the tournament.

After going behind early, Tim Cahill equalised with a sublime left-foot volley seconds later, and Mile Jedinak had Socceroos fans dreaming of the impossible when he put Australia in front from the penalty spot. Unfortunately, the Netherlands struck back soon after, before Memphis Depay’s winner condemned the Socceroos to a 3-2 loss.

Australia could only put up a meek performance in their final game against Spain, and lost 3-0.

The building blocks for the 2015 Asian Cup had been laid in 2014, and Postecoglou would oversee the biggest success in Australian football history in the home tournament.

It has been a mixed year for Aussie football fans. (Photo: AFC Asian Cup)

A loss to South Korea in the group stage placed Australia on the same side of the draw as Japan, but when the Blue Samurai lost to the United Arab Emirates in the quarter-finals, the Socceroos’ path to the final was clear.

Waiting for them in the decider was South Korea but, unlike in the teams’ first meeting of the tournament, it would be Australia who emerged victorious. The Socceroos took the lead through Massimo Luongo in the first half, before Son Heung-min sent the game into extra-time with a last-gasp equaliser. Australia would not be denied, though, with James Troisi striking midway through extra-time to give the Socceroos a 2-1 win and their maiden Asian Cup title.

Currently, the Socceroos are into the last phase of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, sitting third in their group just a point behind joint-leaders Saudi Arabia and Japan. The top two nations progress directly through to the World Cup in Russia, while the third-placed side has to go through a series of playoff ties to progress to the tournament.

Socceroos Articles

Recency bias might hinder Popovic’s national team hopes

Recency bias might hinder Popovic’s national team hopes

by , 13 Apr 2017

It was announced last week that Ange Postecoglou would indeed be stepping down after the Socceroos’ 2018 World Cup campaign ends, whether that’s before the tournament proper, or after.

Australia slide down in new FIFA rankings

Australia slide down in new FIFA rankings

by , 7 Apr 2017

FIFA have released their new world rankings which places Australia 50th and New Zealand 112.

Ange Postecoglou to resign after 2018 World Cup

Ange Postecoglou to resign after 2018 World Cup

by , 6 Apr 2017

Ange Postecoglou says he will end his reign as Socceroos coach at the conclusion of the national team’s 2018 World Cup campaign.

Ange Postecoglou to step down after 2018 World Cup: reports

Ange Postecoglou to step down after 2018 World Cup: reports

by , 6 Apr 2017

Ange Postecoglou will step down from his role as Australia’s national football manager at the end of the 2018 World Cup, according to Les Murray.

The Socceroos’ goal-scoring future is secure. Or is it?

The Socceroos’ goal-scoring future is secure. Or is it?

by , 3 Apr 2017

Two goals against the UAE was pleasing. Both came from set pieces however, and the Socceroos’ recent reliance on stationary ball goals has been noted.

Ange can say whatever he likes, as long as the Socceroos win

Ange can say whatever he likes, as long as the Socceroos win

by , 31 Mar 2017

Ange Postecoglou’s dig at his critics was much ado about nothing, but at least it proved people still care about the national team.

Socceroos have stirred up all the old athletic muscle memories

Socceroos have stirred up all the old athletic muscle memories

by , 30 Mar 2017

It was not a display of adroitness. It was not, really, a compelling argument that we should persist with the 3-4-3 formation.

A good result – but for god’s sake, sort out the playing surface

A good result – but for god’s sake, sort out the playing surface

by , 30 Mar 2017

Australia battled not just their opponents, but also the playing surface, when they played the United Arab Emirates in Sydney on Tuesday night.

Socceroos stay on track for World Cup in Russia

Socceroos stay on track for World Cup in Russia

by , 29 Mar 2017

If the past week has taught Australia anything, it’s that reaching the 2018 World Cup won’t be easy.

Australia vs UAE highlights: World Cup Qualifier scores, blog

Australia vs UAE highlights: World Cup Qualifier scores, blog

by , 28 Mar 2017 Popular article!

It was far from pretty but the Socceroos stormed home to a 2-0 victory against an antagonistic UAE outfit in a crucial World Cup qualifier at the Sydney Football Stadium.


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