Australia Olympic football team

Australia Olympic football team
Australia Olympic football team
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Olyroos
Association Football Federation Australia
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Australia Aurelio Vidmar
Captain Australia Oliver Bozanic
Top scorer Australia Mark Viduka (17 goals)
Home colours
Away colours
First international
Australia Australia 2 - 0 Japan 
(Melbourne, Australia; 27 November 1956[1])
Biggest win
Australia Australia 12 - 0 Vanuatu 
(Adelaide, Australia; 25 January 1996)
Biggest defeat
Australia Australia 1 - 6 Poland 
(Barcelona, Spain; 5 August 1992)

The Australia Olympic football team, more commonly known as the Olyroos, is controlled by Football Federation Australia and represents Australia at association football in the Olympic Games. Australia have qualified consecutively since the 1988 tournament in Seoul, featuring at the 1992 edition in Barcelona, 1996 in Atlanta, as hosts in Sydney in 2000, 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing.


Tournament history

1956 Melbourne Olympics

A squad coached by Richard Telfer set out to try and win the tournament on home turf where they were drawn against Japan in the round of 16 (as the tournament was held in the knock-out stage format). A goal in each half, a penalty scored by Graham McMillan on 26 minutes and then a goal by Irish born striker Frank Loughran on 61 minutes, was enough to see off Japan.[1] Facing India at the quarter-final stages, two goals from Bruce Morrow saw Australia equalise twice in the first half (first 1-1 and then 2-2). Locked at 2-2 until the 50th minute, India's Neville D'Souza put his side ahead before Krishna Kittu would add another on 80 minutes.[2]

1988 Seoul Olympics

The 1988 tournament was held under previous regulations which did not consist of the 'under-23' age restriction. Coach Frank Arok had comfortably chosen a strong squad, consisting of ex-Nottingham Forrest defender Alan Davidson and Sydney Olympic striker John Kosmina. The squad also included Graham Arnold, Frank Farina and Charles Yankos. Australia would participate in Group D, where they were drawn against Brazil, Yugoslavia and Nigeria. 12, 000 spectators in Seoul saw Frank Farina fire past Yugoslavian keeper Dragoje Leković on 48 minutes to claim a 1-0 victory in their opening group stage clash.[3] Australia then took on Brazil which saw a hat-trick from Romario to defeat the Olyroos 3-0.[4] A 76 minute goal from John Kosmina against Nigeria saw Australia advance to the knock-out stages, where the 1-0 victory saw them finish in second place of their group.[5] Drawn against the Soviet Union, after a scoreless first half, Australia were beaten 3-0 thanks to two goals in the space of four minutes from Dynamo Moscow midfielder Igor Dobrovolski and another by Dynamo Kiev midfielder Alexei Mikhailichenko on 62 minutes. Australia's David Mitchell saw red on 68 minutes as Australia would be eliminated.[6]

1992 Barcelona Olympics

Arguably Australia's most successful Olympic tournament, the squad coached by Eddie Thomson contained just two overseas based players: KV Mechelen striker Zlatko Arambasic and Club Brugge midfielder Paul Okon, as the rest of the squad hailed from NSL clubs. The squad saw Mark Bosnich, John Filan, Tony Vidmar and Tony Popovic take part before commencing their successful careers in Europe. Drawn with Mexico, Denmark and Ghana, the Olyroos would take on the Africans in Zaragoza in their first round fixture. An early goal on 12 minutes by Mohammed Gargo set the tone for Ghana as they held onto that lead until the 83rd minute when it was extended to 2-0 by Kwame Ayew. Ayew grabbed another on 89 minutes before Tony Vidmar scored a consulation goal for Australia on 91 minutes to bring the score to 3-1.[7] Two days later in Barcelona, Zlatko Arambasic opened the scoring after 20 minutes as Australia lead Mexico 1-0 until the 63rd minute when Jorge Castañeda leveled the tie at 1-1, the game would finish this way which meant that Australia would need to win their last group stage game to proceed to the knock-out stages.[8] The Olyroos put in a solid performance, scoring 3-0 goals against Denmark to book a spot in the quarter-finals. The game saw one first half goal by John Markovski and two second half goals thanks to Damian Mori and Tony Vidmar.[9] Australia and Ghana progressed to the knock-out stages where Australia were tied to play against Sweden in Barcelona. In front of 30, 000 spectators at the Camp Nou, John Markovski put Australia ahead after 30 minutes. A 53rd minute strike by Shaun Murphy put the Olyroos 2-0 up until Patrik Andersson scored one back for Sweden on 62 minutes. The game stayed at 2-1 and the result sent the Olyroos to the semi-finals where they would face Poland.[10] At the Camp Nou in front of 45, 000 spectators, Poland struck on 27 minutes, taking the lead after a goal from Wojciech Kowalczyk. Australia, however, hit back on 35 minutes when Adelaide City striker Carl Veart equalised. Poland were there transformed in the second period, scoring 5 goals, which saw a hat-trick from Andrzej Juskowiak and an own goal from Shaun Murphy, to take out the game at 6-1.[11] In the Bronze Medal game, Australia would meet up with group stage outfit Ghana, who took the lead when Isaac Asare scored after 19 minutes and eventually winning the game 1-0, the result left the Olyroos to claim fourth spot at the tournament, as Spain would finish in first place after beating Poland 3-2.[12]

1996 Atlanta Olympics

Eddie Thomson took a young squad to the United States, which included Aurelio Vidmar and Steve Horvat as the overaged players, the squad was combined of 7 overseas players out of the 18 men squad. A young Mark Viduka was in his second year at Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and Kevin Muscat had just signed with English Premier League club Crystal Palace. Drawn into Group B with European heavy weights Spain and France, as well as Saudi Arabia, the Olyroos would lose 2-0 to France in their opening clash thanks to goals from Robert Pires and Florian Maurice, as Australia's Danny Tiatto saw a red card just after 24 minutes.[13] A 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia earnt the Olyroos their first 3 points of the campaign. Peter Tsekenis scored after just 12 minutes before the Saudis were able to draw level through Mohammed Al Khilaiwi on 37 minutes. On 63 minutes Mark Viduka put Australia in front as Australia came out winners at 2-1.[14] After leading Spain 2-0 courtesy of two early goals from Aurelio Vidmar, Raúl González scored one on 40 minutes, Santiago Denia added after 86 minutes to level the tie. Shortly after, the deadlock was broken as Raúl netted on the 90th minute to seal victory for Spain. The result had eliminated Australia from tournament as Spain and France progressed to the knock-out stages.[15]

2000 Sydney Olympics

In a full-strength side, which included Stan Lazaridis, Josip Skoko and Mark Viduka as over aged players, under coach Raul Blanco the Olyroos were drawn against Italy, Nigeria and Honduras in Group A. In front of 93, 252 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia were defeated 1-0 by an Italian Andrea Pirlo goal after 81 minutes.[16] At the Sydney Football Stadium, Australia's second group stage fixture saw them down 2-0 against Nigeria after just 22 minutes. Two goals in the space of just four minutes from Hayden Foxe and Kasey Wehrman saw Australia draw level just before half time. The second half saw the explusion of both Brett Emerton and Celestine Babayaro ten minutes after play had commenced. On 64 minutes, Victor Agali's goal was enough to see Nigeria take out the game at 3-2.[17] The result meant that Australia had been knocked out of the tournament with one match remaining. In Sydney, Honduras sealed a 2-1 victory after a brace by Cagliari striker David Suazo.[18] Hondouras would finish in third place, Nigeria and Italy finished in the top two positions whereas the hosts finished in bottom spot on 0 points, much to the disappointment of the local media and then-active Australian Soccer Association.

2004 Athens Olympics

Frank Farina took an 18-man squad which included Milwall's Tim Cahill, Osasuna's striker John Aloisi and Rangers' defender Craig Moore as over aged players. The squad proved to good enough to reach the final itself, drawing 1-1 with Tunisia thanks to an Aloisi equaliser and beating Serbia and Montenegro in a 5-1 thrashing which saw a brace from Aloisi, Ahmad Elrich and a goal by Cahill.[19][20] Australia would lose 1-0 to Argentina when Andrés D'Alessandro scored after 9 minutes in their final group stage game as both teams went on to qualify for the knock out stages.[21] Australia would meet Iraq at the quarter-final stage where Emad Mohammed scored after 64 minutes, sending Iraq through to the semi-finals as they won the game 1-0.[22]

2008 Beijing Olympics


The 'Olyroos' at Bluetongue Stadium during 2007

The Olyroos' first qualifying game for the 2008 Beijing Olympics was held on 7 February 2007, when Australia hosted Taiwan in Adelaide. Midfielder Kristian Sarkies became the first player to score a hat-trick for the Under-23's in the Asian competition and Australia won the home tie 11–0. They then travelled to Taipei and narrowly edged out the home side 1–0 in difficult conditions to advance to the second stage of the qualifications. In February 2007 the Olyroos played Iran in the first game of the second round, which resulted in a 0–0 draw. In the second game of the round, against Jordan in Adelaide, they drew 1–1. This result left Australia in second spot, four points behind leaders Saudi Arabia. Against Saudi Arabia, Australia won the first leg 2–0 and lost 2–1 in the second. In May 2007 they defeated Iran 3–1. Australia qualified for the third and final round of the Asian qualifications after beating Jordan 4–0 in their final game in June 2007. The Olyroos met Iraq, Korea DPR and Lebanon at the final round (August till November 2007). Australia started their campaign with a scoreless draw against Iraq in Doha. Then the Olyroos went on to win their home games against North Korea (1–0) and Lebanon (3–0). After another scoreless draw against Lebanon in Beirut, Australia was behind Iraq with both eight points but Iraq leading because of the better goal difference. The decisive match was held in Gosford on 17 November 2007 and saw the Olyroos emerging as 2–0 winners thanks to goal from Adrian Leijer and Mark Milligan. The following 1–1 draw against North Korea in Pyongyang sealed Australia's qualification for Beijing, as they finished as group winners with 12 points, one more than Iraq.

2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Football Tournament

When the eventual tournament took place in August 2008, the Olyroos were drawn against Argentina, Ivory Coast and Serbia where coach Graham Arnold had controversially left out overseas based players Nathan Burns and Bruce Djite, which left half of the squad including domestic players. A hopeful squad looked upon by the public which included Nuremberg's Matthew Spiranovic and Gençlerbirliği's James Troisi, the experience of Archie Thompson and Jade North were included as the over aged players. Shanghai was the venue of Australia's first group stage clash against Serbia, which saw them go infont after 69 minutes thanks to a Ruben Zadkovich goal. Slobodan Rajković however leveled the scores after 78 minutes to end the game at 1-1.[23] Argentina, who had beaten Ivory Coast 2-1 in their opening clash, would then take on Australia. The Olyroos held the Albiceleste at 0-0 until Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi latched on to a cross to score after 76 minutes. The full strength Argentina side, a team that included Roman Riquelme, Sergio Agüero and Lionel Messi, took out the game at 1-0 which left Australia in a must win situation against the Ivory Coast.[24] An 81st minute Salomon Kalou strike saw Ivory Coast proceed to the knock out stages at the expense of Australia who had just claimed one point.[25]

2012 London Olympics


The starting team for the Olyroos match against Yemen on 19 June 2011

Under coach Aurelio Vidmar, Australia's 2012 Olympics qualifiers will commence on 19–23 June 2011 where which they will face Yemen on 19 June at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford and on 23 June at Newcastle International Sports Centre in Newcastle, New South Wales in the first round of qualifiers where Australia won 7-0 on aggregate. On 7 July 2011 the draw for the third round of the qualifiers was held at the AFC House. Australia were drawn into Group B with Iraq, Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates, with the group's fixtures commencing in September 2011 and concluding in March 2012.[26]

Tournament Records

Olympic Football Tournament

Olympics record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
19001952 Did not participate
1956 Quarter-final 2 1 0 1 4 4
1960 Withdrew
1964 to 1984 Did not enter
1988 Quarter final 7th 4 2 0 2 2 6
1992 Semi-final 4th 6 2 1 3 8 12
1996 Group stage 13th 3 1 0 2 4 6
2000 Group stage 15th 3 0 0 3 3 6
2004 Quarter final 4 1 1 2 6 4
2008 Group stage 3 0 1 2 1 3
Total 7/25 24 7 3 14 28 40


September 2010
North Korea North Korea 1 - 0 Australia Australia

September 2010
Vietnam Vietnam 0 - 2 Australia Australia

September 2010
 Kuwait 0 - 0 Australia Australia

1 June 2011
Japan Japan 3 - 1 Australia Australia Tohoku Denryoku Bigswan Stadium, Niigata

14 June 2011
Australia Australia 6 - 0 Singapore Singapore

19 June 2011
Australia Australia 3 - 0 Yemen Yemen Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

23 June 2011
 Yemen 0 - 4 Australia Australia Newcastle International Sports Centre, Newcastle

21 September 2011
Australia Australia 0-0 UAE United Arab Emirates Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide

22 November 2011
 Iraq v Australia Australia

27 November 2011
Australia Australia v Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Parramatta Stadium, Parramatta

5 February 2012
 Uzbekistan v Australia Australia

22 February 2012
United Arab Emirates UAE v Australia Australia

14 March 2012
Australia Australia v Iraq Iraq

Current squad

The following players were named for the Asian Qualifiers against Iraq and Uzbekistan for the 2012 London Olympics which will be played in November 2011.[27]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of Birth (Age) Caps Goals Club
GK Matt Ryan 8 April 1992 (1992-04-08) (age 19) 0 0 Australia Central Coast Mariners
18 GK Mark Birighitti 17 April 1991 (1991-04-17) (age 20) 1 0 Australia Adelaide United
3 DF Sebastian Ryall 19 July 1989 (1989-07-19) (age 22) 8 0 Australia Sydney FC
4 DF Matthew Jurman 9 December 1989 (1989-12-09) (age 21) 6 0 Australia Brisbane Roar
5 DF Aziz Behich 16 December 1990 (1990-12-16) (age 20) 5 1 Australia Melbourne Heart
2 DF Matthew Foschini 19 October 1990 (1990-10-19) (age 21) 5 0 Australia Melbourne Victory
DF Dylan McGowan 8 June 1991 (1991-06-08) (age 20) 0 0 Australia Gold Coast United
14 DF Daniel Mullen 26 October 1989 (1989-10-26) (age 22) 2 0 Australia Adelaide United
6 MF Oliver Bozanic (C) 8 January 1989 (1989-01-08) (age 22) 8 0 Australia Central Coast Mariners
MF Brad McDonald 17 February 1990 (1990-02-17) (age 21) 0 0 Australia Central Coast Mariners
10 MF Mitch Nichols 9 April 1989 (1989-04-09) (age 22) 6 2 Australia Brisbane Roar
7 MF James Brown 19 February 1990 (1990-02-19) (age 21) 4 0 Australia Gold Coast United
16 MF Mate Dugandzic 22 October 1989 (1989-10-22) (age 22) 3 0 Australia Melbourne Heart
15 MF Rhyan Grant 26 February 1991 (1991-02-26) (age 20) 1 0 Australia Sydney FC
MF Dimitri Petratos 10 November 1992 (1992-11-10) (age 19) 0 0 Australia Sydney FC
MF Cameron Edwards 27 March 1992 (1992-03-27) (age 19) 0 0 England Reading FC
9 FW Jason Hoffman 28 January 1989 (1989-01-28) (age 22) 13 8 Australia Melbourne Heart
11 FW Marko Jesic 7 August 1989 (1989-08-07) (age 22) 7 1 Australia Newcastle Jets
17 FW Kofi Danning 3 February 1991 (1991-02-03) (age 20) 3 1 Australia Brisbane Roar
FW Adam Taggart 2 June 1993 (1993-06-02) (age 18) 0 0 Australia Perth Glory

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up within the last 12 months.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of Birth (Age) Caps Goals Club
GK Andrew Redmayne 13 January 1989 (1989-01-13) (age 22) 5 0 Australia Brisbane Roar
GK Dean Bouzanis 2 October 1990 (1990-10-02) (age 21) 3 0 Unattached
GK Jerrad Tyson 21 September 1989 (1989-09-21) (age 22) 1 0 Australia Gold Coast United
DF Scott Neville 11 January 1989 (1989-01-11) (age 22) 3 0 Australia Perth Glory
DF Ryan McGowan 15 August 1989 (1989-08-15) (age 22) 3 0 Scotland Hearts
DF Luke DeVere 5 November 1989 (1989-11-05) (age 22) 2 0 South Korea Gyeongnam
DF Antony Golec 29 May 1990 (1990-05-29) (age 21) 2 0 Australia Adelaide United
DF Sam Gallagher 5 May 1991 (1991-05-05) (age 20) 1 0 Australia Central Coast Mariners
DF Shane Lowry 12 June 1989 (1989-06-12) (age 22) 0 0 England Aston Villa
DF Jack Hingert 26 September 1990 (1990-09-26) (age 21) 0 0 Australia Brisbane Roar
MF Ben Kantarovski 20 January 1992 (1992-01-20) (age 19) 0 0 Australia Newcastle Jets
MF Diogo Ferreira 5 October 1989 (1989-10-05) (age 22) 7 0 Australia Melbourne Victory
MF Isaka Cernak 3 July 1989 (1989-07-03) (age 22) 7 0 Australia Melbourne Victory
MF James Holland 15 May 1989 (1989-05-15) (age 22) 5 0 Netherlands AZ Alkmaar
MF Rocco Visconte 22 April 1990 (1990-04-22) (age 21) 4 0 Australia Brisbane Roar
MF Aaron Mooy 15 September 1990 (1990-09-15) (age 21) 3 2 Scotland St. Mirren
MF Mustafa Amini 20 April 1993 (1993-04-20) (age 18) 2 1 Australia Central Coast Mariners
MF Luke Brattan 8 March 1990 (1990-03-08) (age 21) 0 0 Australia Brisbane Roar
MF Chris Herd 4 April 1989 (1989-04-04) (age 22) 0 0 England Aston Villa
FW Tahj Minniecon 13 January 1989 (1989-01-13) (age 22) 4 1 Australia Gold Coast United
FW Mirjan Pavlovic 21 April 1989 (1989-04-21) (age 22) 4 0 Australia Wellington Phoenix
FW Chris Payne 15 September 1990 (1990-09-15) (age 21) 3 0 Australia Newcastle Jets
FW Gol-Gol Mebrahtu 28 August 1990 (1990-08-28) (age 21) 1 0 Australia Gold Coast United
FW Apostolos Giannou 25 January 1990 (1990-01-25) (age 21) 0 0 Greece PAOK


  1. ^ a b "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  3. ^ "Previous Tournaments". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  4. ^ "Previous Tournaments". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  5. ^ "Previous Tournaments". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  6. ^ "Previous Tournaments". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  8. ^ "Previous Tournaments". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  10. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  13. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
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  20. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  21. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  22. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  23. ^ [1][dead link]
  24. ^ [2][dead link]
  25. ^ [3][dead link]
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Vidmar announces Qantas U23s squad". FFA. 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2011-16-11. 

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