Socceroos – Australian men’s national football team

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.

» Upcoming Socceroos fixtures

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. They have been forced into play-off ties after finishing third in their group behind Japan and Saudi Arabia.

After an extra time victory over Syria in their Asian play-off, they will take on Honduras for a spot in the World Cup during November.

Last updated: 11 October, 2017

Socceroos Articles

Cahill leaves City: Why, how, and what next?

Cahill leaves City: Why, how, and what next?

by , 7 Dec 2017

Well, less than a month after he made a televised demand for more playing time, Tim Cahill now finds himself unemployed.

Deadline set for announcement of new Socceroos coach

Deadline set for announcement of new Socceroos coach

by , 5 Dec 2017

Sven Goran Eriksson has emerged as a shock candidate for the vacant Socceroos coaching role but a successor to Ange Postecoglou won’t be announced until mid-February.

Finally, some luck for the Socceroos in their World Cup draw

Finally, some luck for the Socceroos in their World Cup draw

by , 2 Dec 2017

The Socceroos will start their 2018 World Cup campaign against former champions and tournament fancies France, with group matches to follow against Denmark and Peru.

Jedinak may be sidelined for months: Bruce

Jedinak may be sidelined for months: Bruce

by , 1 Dec 2017

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce wants to start December with a bang when his side travel to Leeds but he will be doing it without Socceroos talisman Mile Jedinak.

2018 FIFA World Cup draw: The best and worst case scenarios for the Socceroos

2018 FIFA World Cup draw: The best and worst case scenarios for the Socceroos

by , 1 Dec 2017

The 2018 World Cup draw is approaching, with proceedings set to begin in the early hours of Saturday morning. In preparation for the event, here’s a quick rundown on how the draw works and what some of the best and worst case scenarios for the Socceroos will be.

The five criteria the FFA must have for the new Socceroos manager

The five criteria the FFA must have for the new Socceroos manager

by , 28 Nov 2017

Now that the Socceroos are without a mentor in the short term, the candidates interested will start jockeying for position. Those on the radar of the FFA yet still oblivious to their interest will be approached.

Thank you, Ange – you have transformed football in Australia

Thank you, Ange – you have transformed football in Australia

by , 23 Nov 2017

“Ange just resigned.” I sent that text out to a lot of people this morning and all were dismayed.

The recent turbulence won’t conceal the sparkle of the Postecoglou era

The recent turbulence won’t conceal the sparkle of the Postecoglou era

by , 22 Nov 2017 Video

As an emotional Ange Postecoglou announced his resignation as manager of the Socceroos, his reign was sewn up with an odd, truncated sort of symmetry.

Ange Postecoglou quits as Socceroos boss

Ange Postecoglou quits as Socceroos boss

by , 22 Nov 2017 Video

Ange Postecoglou has sensationally quit as Socceroos boss just a week after helping the side qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Who are the contenders to replace Ange Postecoglou?

Who are the contenders to replace Ange Postecoglou?

by , 22 Nov 2017 Video

It was rumoured and now it’s the reality for the Socceroos. Ange Postecoglou has quit as coach just seven days after qualifying for the FIFA World Cup. So, the obvious question now is who should replace him?


Older Articles »