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.

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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 equal second with Saudi Arabia and just a point behind Japan with two matches to play.. 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.

Last updated: 14 June, 2017

Socceroos Articles

A disappointing result, but cultural change is the real aim of Ange’s game

A disappointing result, but cultural change is the real aim of Ange’s game

by , 26 Jun 2017

Defeat with honour has been the Socceroos’ stock in trade in recent years, so there are some mixed emotions around Australia’s commendable 1-1 draw with Chile overnight.

Socceroos vs Chile Highlights: Confederations Cup live scores, blog

Socceroos vs Chile Highlights: Confederations Cup live scores, blog

by , 26 Jun 2017 Video

The Socceroos need to defeat Chile by at least two goals if they wish to progress to the next stage of the Confederations Cup. Join The Roar from 1am AEST for live scores and commentary.

A close look at the Socceroos deep midfield

A close look at the Socceroos deep midfield

by , 25 Jun 2017

The formation Ange Postecoglou is propagating at the national level is a big, complex machine, and one that can only thrum cleanly through its revolutions if the parts are hand-crafted and fitted perfectly.

Cahill set for 100th Socceroos cap

Cahill set for 100th Socceroos cap

by , 24 Jun 2017

As he prepares for game No.100 in a Socceroos shirt, Tim Cahill says he feels rejuvenated in Ange Postecoglou’s next-gen national team.

Highlights: Socceroos earn draw with Cameroon

Highlights: Socceroos earn draw with Cameroon

by , 23 Jun 2017 Video

The Socceroos’ Confederations Cup fate is out of their hands after labouring to a 1-1 draw with Cameroon in St Petersburg.

Queensland deserves to see more of the Socceroos

Queensland deserves to see more of the Socceroos

by , 23 Jun 2017

Thursday, January 22, 2015. That was the last time the Socceroos played in Queensland.

Socceroos vs Cameroon highlights: Confederations Cup scores, blog

Socceroos vs Cameroon highlights: Confederations Cup scores, blog

by , 23 Jun 2017 Video

Match result: The Socceroos chances of qualifying for the Confederations Cup semi-finals took a hit after a 1-1 draw with Cameroon.

Postecoglou ready to re-shape Socceroos

Postecoglou ready to re-shape Socceroos

by , 22 Jun 2017

Ange Postecoglou has left the door open for a serious selection shake-up as he seeks safe passage for the Socceroos to the Confederations Cup semi-finals.

The Ange Identity needs a systematic change

The Ange Identity needs a systematic change

by , 21 Jun 2017

In 2013, Ange Postecoglou arrived as the Socceroos head coach with a clear mandate. Australia needed to shed it’s rough and tumble nature, upgrading to a slick passing game.

Highlights: Germany too good for Socceroos in Russia

Highlights: Germany too good for Socceroos in Russia

by , 20 Jun 2017

World champions Germany have given Australia a reminder of their place in football’s pecking order with a 3-2 win at the Confederations Cup.


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