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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.

Australia is a four-time Oceania Football Confederation champion and has been represented at two FIFA World Cup tournaments, in 1974 and 2006. 14th is Australia's highest ever FIFA World Ranking since the rankings were introduced in 1992. Australia topped their group in the 2010 World Cup qualification and became one of the first nations to qualify for the finals tournament without losing a match and only conceding one goal.


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, 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. 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 Stadiummarker, 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.

Also they have lost the play-offs of 1966 (North Korea), 1970 (Israel), 1986 (Scotland), 1994 (Argentina), 1998 (Iran) and 2002 (Uruguay).

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 Argentinamarker, 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". 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, 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 Melbournemarker, until Iran managed to score two late goals. This match has been named one of the most memorable matches by many of the retired Australian and Iranian football players. The atmosphere at the MCGmarker after the game was described as "like that of a graveyard" by many fans - At the time the crowd that packed the MCG was the highest ever for a football match in Australia, and after being very confident of progressing to the FIFA World Cup with only 30 minutes to go - suddenly being eliminated was devastating.

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 Japanmarker.

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 Montevideomarker 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 Melbournemarker in November 2001. A particular highlight for Australian football, and the one that attracted most public attention, was the 3-1 victory over traditional sporting rivals England in a friendly in London in 2003. The importance of the result within the wider football fraternity led to the match being remembered as the most meaningless friendly in the history of the game.

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.

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. 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.

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 83,000 fans at Telstra Stadiummarker, and 3.4 million more watching the televised broadcast, and an estimated 4 million more watching in pubs and clubs, 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 wild jubilation across the country, as fans rejoiced at the Socceroos qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, their first qualification in 32 years.

Germany were also the hosts the last time Australia qualified for the World Cup back in 1974.

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.

One respected football (soccer) 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 Tokyomarker 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.

In preparation for the upcoming World Cup, Socceroos player Tony Vidmar was ruled out of the World Cup 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 put on 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, 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 Groundmarker, 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 Rotterdammarker 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 Öhringenmarker. 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 Kaiserslauternmarker, 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 are 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 FIFAmarker 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 Munichmarker 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 Stuttgartmarker. 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 74th 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. And finally, in a most extraordinary error, Poll presented Simunic with three yellow cards before 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 Kaiserslauternmarker. 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. Further analysis of the incident in slow motion clearly shows that Fabio Grosso moves his foot into Neill, and still had time to get around him. However, the decision to award the penalty was correct as Neill clearly sought to obstruct Grosso. A view supported by the coach Marcello Lippi who denied that Grosso had dived, describing the incident as "a clear foul". Australia became the team to go out of a World Cup with the last kick of the ball (in regular time). The decision for the penalty is still argued with between Australian and Italian supporters, with an increasing grudge happening in Australia between the two sets of fans.

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 the 11th of 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. It has been reported that FFA is considering legal action against both person and club. 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 the 6th of 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 Dubaimarker, Iraq defeated Australia 1-0 through a wonder strike from Emad Mohammed. Australia then defeated Qatar 3-1 on 14 June in Dohamarker 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 have been 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 September 10 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 April 1 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.

Asian Cup 2011 qualification

The Socceroos were drawn in Group B for the Asian Cup 2011 qualifying stage along with Oman, Kuwait and Indonesia. The top two teams from the group will progress to the finals in Qatarmarker.

Australia drew 0-0 away to Indonesia on 28 January 2009 and then suffered a surprise 0-1 home defeat against lower ranked Kuwait on 5 March 2009. On October 14, Australia defeated Oman 1-0 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne to move to equal first in their qualifying group with Tim Cahill scoring the winner in the 74th minute.

On November 15th, Australia reduced to 10 men for over 70 minutes of the match as a penalty was given in the box, won the match two goals to one despite an epic performace of attack from the Omanis in Muscat, Oman.

Player drain to other countries

One obstacle for the Socceroos is that some promising players end up playing for other nations. As many Australians have roots in Europe and qualify for European passports, they are eligible to play for non-Australian national teams.

The following were Australian-born players who chose other national teams:

The following players are currently playing for other youth national teams, yet were either born or lived a considerable amount of their youth in Australia but are still eligible to play for Australia:

The following players were eligible to play for Australia but chose other national teams:

Less notable players who were either born or eligible to play for Australia but chose other senior or youth national teams:

Tournament records

World Cup

FIFA World Cup Record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1930 Did not enter
1966 Did not qualify
1974 Round 1 14 3 0 1 2 0 5
1978 Did not qualify
2006 Round of 16 16 4 1 1 2 5 6
2010 Qualified - - - - - - -
Total 3/19 7 1 2 4 5 11
FIFA World Cup History
Year Round Opponent Result
1974 Round 1 0 – 2
Round 1 0 – 3
Round 1 0 – 0
2006 Round 1 3 – 1
Round 1 0 – 2
Round 1 2 – 2
Round 2 0 – 1

Confederations Cup

Year Result Pld W D L GF GA
1992 No OFC Representative was Invited
1997 Runner-up 5 2 1 2 4 8
1999 Did not qualify
2001 Third Place 5 3 0 2 4 2
2003 Did not qualify
2005 Round 1 3 0 0 3 5 10
2009 Did not qualify
Total 3/8 13 5 1 7 13 20

Oceania Nations Cup

Australia left OFC at the end of 2005.
Year Result Pld W D L GF GA
1973 Did not participate
1980 Winner 4 4 0 0 24 2
1996 Winner 4 3 1 0 14 0
1998 Runner-up 4 3 0 1 23 3
2000 Winner 4 4 0 0 26 0
2002 Runner-up 5 4 0 1 23 2
2004 Winner 7 6 1 0 32 4
Total 28 24 2 2 142 11

Asian Cup

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


Name Period Matches Wins Draws Losses Win % Achievements
Tiko Jelisavcic 1965 6 3 0 3 50%
Jozef Vengloš 1965 - 1967 7 4 1 2 57%
Joe Vlatsis 1967 - 1969 23 13 7 3 57%
Ralé Rasic 1970 - 1974 31 16 9 6 52% 1st round at the 1974 FIFA World Cup
Brian Green 1976 2 2 0 0 100%
Jim Shoulder 1976 - 1978 25 10 7 8 40%
Rudi Gutendorf 1979 - 1981 18 3 8 7 17% Winner of the 1980 OFC Nations Cup
Les Scheinflug 1981 - 1983 12 8 1 3 67%
Frank Arok 1983 - 1989 46 21 14 11 46%
Les Scheinflug (caretaker during Frank Arok absence) 1983 4 3 0 1 75%
Les Scheinflug (caretaker) 1990 1 1 0 0 100%
Eddie Thomson 1990 - 1996 56 26 11 19 46% Winner of the 1996 OFC Nations Cup
Les Scheinflug (caretaker during Eddie Thomson absence) 1992 3 2 1 0 67%
Vic Fernandez (caretaker during Eddie Thomson absence) 1992 2 1 0 1 50%
Les Scheinflug (caretaker during Eddie Thomson absence) 1994 1 1 0 0 100%
Raul Blanco (caretaker) 1996 2 2 0 0 100%
Terry Venables 1997 - 1998 23 15 3 5 65% Runner-up of the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup
Raul Blanco (caretaker) 1998 - 1999 5 3 1 1 60% Runner-up of the 1998 OFC Nations Cup
Frank Farina 1999 - 2005 58 34 9 15 59% Winner of the 2000 OFC Nations Cup

3rd place at the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup

Runner-up of the 2002 OFC Nations Cup

Winner of the 2004 OFC Nations Cup

1st round of the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup
Guus Hiddink 2005 - 2006 12 7 2 3 58% 2nd round at the 2006 FIFA World Cup
Graham Arnold (caretaker) 2006 - 2007 15 6 4 5 40% Quarter finalists at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup
Rob Baan (caretaker) 2007 1 1 0 0 100%
Pim Verbeek 2007 - 24 13 7 4 54%

Top 5 coaches by win record

Rank Name Period Win % Pts./Game
1 Les Scheinflug (incl. 9 matches as caretaker) 1981 - 1994 71% 2.24
2 Terry Venables 1997 - 1998 65% 2.09
3 Frank Farina 1999 - 2005 59% 1.91
4 Guus Hiddink 2005 - 2006 58% 1.92
5 Joe Vlatsis 1967 - 1969 57% 2.00
Current Pim Verbeek 2007 - 54% 1.92

Current squad

The following players were called up for the 2011 Asian Cup qualifier against Oman in Muscatmarker on November 14, 2009.

Name DOB Club Caps (goals) Debut
Mark Schwarzer Fulham 73 (0) v Canada, 15 August 1993
Brad Jones Middlesbrough 1 (0) v Uruguay, 2 June 2007
Adam Federici Reading 0 (0) N/A
Scott Chipperfield Basel 63 (12) v Fiji, 25 September 1998
Lucas Neill Everton 53 (0) v Saudi Arabia, 9 October 1996
Craig Moore Brisbane Roar 46 (3) v Ghana, 18 June 1995
Luke Wilkshire Dynamo Moscow 38 (1) v Solomon Islands, 9 October 2004
David Carney FC Twente 23 (3) v Bahrain, 22 February 2006
Patrick Kisnorbo Leeds United 18 (1) v Vanuatu, 6 July 2002
Mark Milligan Shanghai Shenhua 8 (0) v Liechtenstein, 7 June 2006
Rhys Williams Middlesbrough 3 (0) v Japan, 17 June 2009
Shane Lowry Aston Villa 0 (0) N/A
Brett Emerton Blackburn Roversmarker 72 (17) v Chile, 18 February 1998
Mark Bresciano Palermo 52 (11) v France, 1 June 2001
Harry Kewell Galatasaray 45 (13) v Chile, 24 April 1996
Jason Culina Gold Coast United 44 (1) v South Africa, 9 February 2005
Mile Sterjovski Perth Glory 41 (8) v Scotland, 15 November 2000
Tim Cahill Everton 37 (19) v South Africa, 30 March 2004
Carl Valeri Grosseto 19 (0) v China, 24 March 2007
Mile Jedinak Antalyaspor 8 (0) v Netherlands, 22 March 2008
Brett Holman AZ Alkmaar 29 (1) v Bahrain, 22 April 2006
Bruce Djite Gençlerbirliği 7 (0) v Singapore, 22 March 2008
Alex Brosque Sydney FC 4 (0) v Fiji, 2 June 2004
Dario Vidosic 1. FC Nuremberg 3 (0) v Japan, 17 June 2009

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Australia squad within the last twelve months.

Name DOB Club Caps (goals) Debut Most recent callup
Ante Čović IF Elfsborg 2 (0) v Bahrain, 22 June, 2006 v Oman, October 14, 2009
Michael Petkovic Sivasspor 6 (0) v Colombia, 28 February, 2001 v South Korea, September 5, 2009
Eugene Galeković Adelaide United 2 (0) v Indonesia, 28 January, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Michael Theoklitos Norwich City 0 (0) N/A v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Danny Vukovic Central Coast Mariners 0 (0) N/A v Indonesia, January 28, 2009
Jade North Incheon United 28 (0) v Vanuatu, 6 July, 2002 v South Korea, September 5, 2009
Michael Beauchamp Al-Jazira 19 (1) v Bahrain, 22 June 2006 v South Korea, September 5, 2009
Matthew Špiranović 1. FC Nuremberg 4 (0) v Ghana, May 23, 2008 v South Korea, September 5, 2009
Shane Stefanutto North Queensland Fury 3 (0) v China, 24 March, 2007 v South Korea, September 5, 2009
Adrian Madaschi Portosummaga 5 (2) v Tahiti, 31 May, 2004 v Republic of Ireland, August 12, 2009
Chris Coyne Perth Glory 7 (0) v Iraq, 8 June, 2008 v Japan, June 17, 2009
Nikolai Topor-Stanley Newcastle Jets 3 (0) v Singapore, 22 March, 2008 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Rodrigo Vargas Melbourne Victory 2 (0) v Indonesia, January 28, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Robert Cornthwaite Adelaide United 1 (0) v Kuwait, March 5, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Dean Heffernan Central Coast Mariners 1 (0) v Kuwait, March 5, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Scott Jamieson Adelaide United 1 (0) v Kuwait, March 5, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Daniel Mullen Adelaide United 1 (0) v Kuwait, March 5, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Shannon Cole Sydney FC 0 (0) N/A v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Vince Grella Blackburn Roversmarker 42 (0) v England, February 12, 2003 v Oman, October 14, 2009
Nick Carle Crystal Palace 11 (0) v Venezuela, November 16, 2004 v Oman, October 14, 2009
Danny Invincibile Kilmarnock 0 (0) v N/A v South Korea, September 5, 2009
James Holland AZ Alkmaar 4 (0) v China, June 22, 2008 v Republic of Ireland, August 12, 2009
Oliver Bozanic Reading 0 (0) N/A v Republic of Ireland, August 12, 2009
Aaron Mooy Bolton Wanderers 0 (0) N/A v Republic of Ireland, August 12, 2009
Jacob Burns Perth Glory 10 (0) v Scotland, November 15, 2000 v Japan, June 17, 2009
Richard Garcia Hull City 4 (0) v South Africa, 19 August, 2008 v Japan, June 17, 2009
Tom Pondeljak Melbourne Victory 6 (0) v Fiji, July 10, 2002 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Matt McKay Brisbane Roar 3 (0) v Kuwait, August 16, 2006 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Paul Reid Adelaide United 2 (0) v Indonesia, January 28, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Matt Thompson Newcastle Jets 2 (0) v Indonesia, January 28, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Michael Zullo Brisbane Roar 2 (0) v Indonesia, January 28, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Billy Celeski Melbourne Victory 1 (0) v Kuwait, March 5, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Mitch Nichols Brisbane Roar 1 (0) v Kuwait, March 5, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Fabian Barbiero Adelaide United 1 (0) v Kuwait, March 5, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Tarek Elrich Newcastle Jets 1 (0) v Kuwait, March 5, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Ben Kantarovski Newcastle Jets 0 (0) N/A v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Joshua Kennedy Nagoya Grampus 17 (6) v Liechtenstein, June 7, 2006 v Oman, October 14, 2009
Scott McDonald Celtic 15 (0) v Bahrain, February 22, 2006 v Netherlands, October 10, 2009
Nikita Rukavytsya FC Twente 1 (0) v Republic of Ireland, 19 November 2008 v South Korea, September 5, 2009
Archie Thompson Melbourne Victory 32 (21) v Colombia, February 28, 2001 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Daniel Allsopp Al-Rayyanmarker 3 (0) v Colombia, June 2, 2007 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Matt Simon Central Coast Mariners 2 (0) v Indonesia, January 28, 2009 v Kuwait, March 5, 2009
Dylan Macallister Central Coast Mariners 1 (0) v Indonesia, January 28, 2009 v Indonesia, January 28, 2009

Previous squads

Players with most appearances

Players in 'bold are still available for selection.
# Name Caps Goals First cap Latest cap
1 Alex Tobin 87 2 March 9, 1988 November 6, 1998
2 Paul Wade 84 10 August 3, 1986 November 1, 1996
3 Tony Vidmar 76 3 February 6, 1991 October 7, 2006
4 Mark Schwarzer 72 0 July 31, 1993 October 14, 2009
5 Brett Emerton 71 16 February 7, 1998 October 14, 2009
6 Peter Wilson 64 3 November 4, 1970 June 13, 1979
7 Scott Chipperfield 62 12 September 25, 1998 October 14, 2009
8 Attila Abonyi 61 25 June 4, 1967 November 25, 1977
9 Stan Lazaridis 60 0 April 15, 1993 October 7, 2006
John Kosmina 60 25 August 18, 1976 September 22, 1988
11 Milan Ivanović 59 0 January 30, 1991 February 15, 1998

Players with most goals

Players in 'bold are still available for selection.
# Name Goals Caps Avg. First cap Latest cap
1 Damian Mori 29 45 0.64 September 4, 1992 July 14, 2002
2 John Aloisi 27 55 0.49 March 12, 1997 February 6, 2008
3 John Kosmina 25 60 0.42 August 18, 1976 September 22, 1988
Attila Abonyi 25 61 0.41 June 4, 1967 November 25, 1977
5 Archie Thompson 21 32 0.66 February 28, 2001 March 5, 2009
6 David Zdrilic 20 30 0.67 January 18, 1997 March 29, 2005
7 Tim Cahill 19 38 0.50 March 30, 2004 November 14, 2009
Graham Arnold 19 56 0.34 October 23, 1985 November 29, 1997
9 Ray Baartz 18 48 0.38 May 28, 1967 April 27, 1974
10 Gary Cole 17 19 0.89 June 11, 1978 October 14, 1982
Aurelio Vidmar 17 44 0.39 January 30, 1991 June 3, 2001


Players in 'bold are still available for selection.
# Name Captaincies Caps Goals First captaincy Latest captaincy
1 Peter Wilson 60 64 3 November 11, 1971 June 13, 1979
2 Paul Wade 46 84 10 August 25, 1990 November 1, 1996
3 Alex Tobin 30 87 2 February 11, 1995 November 6, 1998
Charlie Yankos 30 49 7 October 25, 1986 April 16, 1989
5 John Kosmina 25 60 25 October 6, 1982 March 9, 1988
6 Johnny Warren 24 42 6 November 5, 1967 December 1, 1970
Paul Okon 24 28 0 October 9, 1996 September 7, 2003
8 Lucas Neill 18 50 0 October 7, 2006 October 14, 2009
9 Mark Viduka 17 43 11 August 3, 2005 July 21, 2007
10 Craig Moore 12 43 3 February 18, 2004 March 5, 2009


FIFA World Cup

FIFA Confederations Cup

  • Runners-Up (Silver Medal):
  • 3rd Place (Bronze Medal):
  • Group Stage:

OFC Nations Cup

AFC Asian Cup

  • Quarter Finalists:

Other Titles


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 April 11, 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 February 14, 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 Iranianmarker 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 recognized by FIFAmarker, 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 April 11, 2001
2 8 David Zdrillic 31–0 American Samoa 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification April 11, 2001
3 7 Gary Cole 10–0 Fiji 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification August 14, 1981
4 6 John Aloisi 22–0 Tonga 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification April 9, 2001
6 Frank Parsons 8–1 New Zealand Friendly September 11, 1948
5 5 John Aloisi 13–0 Solomon Islands 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification June 11, 1997
5 Damian Mori 13–0 Solomon Islands 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification June 11, 1997
5 George Smith 10–0 New Zealand Friendly July 11, 1936

Largest win

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


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 Nikemarker, the Kit Supplier. Other sponsors include Foxtel, Hyundai, NAB, Powerade, Optus & Westfield.

Media Coverage

Games are mostly broadcasted by SBS and Fox Sports Australia. Audience for games has since soared since the Socceroos heroic victory over Uruguay.

In the United States, qualifiers are broadcasted by Fox Soccer Channel.


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External links

Australia is no longer part of the Oceania Football Confederation and was not defending the Oceanian title.

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