Australia national football (soccer) team

Australia national football (soccer) team

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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 FIFA regulations [cite news |url =|title = Aussies could face betting probe|publisher = Sky Sports|date=18 June 2006] . 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. [cite news|url=|title=AUSSIES GET FIFA BETTING ALL-CLEAR|publisher=Sporting|date=18 June2006]

Australia met Brazil in their second Group F game in Munich on June 18. 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", [cite news|url=|title=Ref's retaliation may have saved Kewell|publisher=Australian Associated Press|date=21 June2006] allowing him to play the next game against Croatia.

On 22 June, Australia faced Croatia in Stuttgart. 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'). Niko Kovac gave Croatia a 2-1 lead before Australia equalised again through Harry Kewell (79') in a moment described by SBS broadcast commentator Simon Hill as "well, it had to be Harry". Kewell appeared to be offside for the goal, in a match riddled with errors. [cite news|url=|title=Croatia 2-2 Australia|publisher=BBC Sport|date=22 June2006] The referee Graham Poll dismissed calls for a penalty in the 5th minute when Croatia's Josip Šimunić literally wrestled Mark Viduka to the ground near goal, missed one of two clear handballs by the Croatian defence in the penalty area, blew the final whistle at the moment that John Aloisi scored what would have been a winning goal, and, in an extraordinary error, presented Simunic with three yellow cards before sending him off after the final whistle. [cite news|url=|title=Frustrated Emerton denied an explanation|publisher=Sydney Morning Herald|date=28 June2006] 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". [ cite news | url= | title=Red card for Poll after clanger | publisher=The Daily Telegraph | date=24 June2006 ] As Brazil beat Japan 4-1, Australia proceeded to the next round to face Italy.

On 26 June, Australia met Italy in Kaiserslautern. Kewell was unavailable for the game, entering the stadium on crutches reportedly suffering from an attack of gout [cite news|url=,,19603291-5001021,00.html|title=Kewell was out with gout|date=27 June2006|publisher=The Daily Telegraph (Australia)] 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. Otherwise, six yellow cards were issued in total. Almost three minutes into stoppage time, a controversial penalty was awarded to Italy when Fabio Grosso went down 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. However, further analysis of the incident in slow motion clearly shows Neil using his hands to bring down Grosso after the ball had passed the Australian defender. [cite news|url=|title=Italian penalty a 'joke', say Socceroos|publisher=NineMSN|date=28 June2006] Italian coach Marcello Lippi denied that Grosso had dived, describing the incident as "a clear foul". [cite news |url=,5478,19612353%255E2883,00.html|title=It's a fair penalty, says Italian coach Lippi|publisher=Herald Sun|date=28 June2006] . Australia became the team to go out of a World Cup with the last kick of the ball (in regular time).

After Germany 2006 & Preparation for the 2007 Asian Cup

Following the success of the Socceroos and Guus Hiddink at the 2006 World Cup there was much speculation as to who would be the next Australian coach. There was general agreement by Australia football commentators that the Dutch style of "total football" (an approach where individual players are trained to be able to play in almost any position providing maximum tactical adaptability) suited Australia well and that Australia should again employ a Dutch coach. In the media, several famous overseas coaches were rumoured as candidates, also knowing the preference of Australian Football Federation president Frank Lowy of wanting to secure another "big name" foreign coach over a local one. However, it was Hiddink's assistant, Graham Arnold who was appointed. But at this time, it was more or less implied that he would only coach the Socceroos in a caretaker role to the upcoming Asian Cup. [cite news|url=|title=Arnold to take the reins for next two matches|date=21 July2006|publisher=Football Federation Australia] Former Socceroos and Adelaide United coach, John Kosmina was appointed as Arnold's assistant. [cite news|url=|title=Kosmina appointed to Qantas Socceroos|date=03 August2006|publisher=Football Federation Australia] They were both later confirmed to continue their roles until the conclusion of 2007 Asian Cup, while the FFA searched for Hiddink's successor to lead Socceroos for 2010 World Cup. [cite news|url=|title=Arnold's job safe until Asian Cup|date=13 November2006|publisher=ABC] [cite news|url=,21598,21753006-5005408,00.html|title=Kosmina in from the cold|date=18 May2007|publisher=The Daily Telegraph (Australia)]

After moving to AFC in 2006, Australia entered into the 2007 Asian Cup qualification. Australia was drawn into Group D, alongside Bahrain, Lebanon and Kuwait. Lebanon later withdrew due to the recent military conflict in the area. Australia began their first Asian Cup qualification campaign in February 2006, prior to the World Cup. In their first match, the Socceroos defeated Bahrain 3-1 in Manama, Bahrain.

The second qualifying match took place after the World Cup. At this time, Guus Hiddink had resigned from his position as Socceroos' coach, leaving his former assistant Graham Arnold in charge. In his first match as Socceroos' coach, Arnold managed to lead the Socceroos to victory against Kuwait 2-0 in Sydney with a squad composed only of A-League players. This win ensured Australia qualification for the 2007 Asian Cup.

Australia then finished their qualifying campaign as Group D winner with 3 wins and 1 defeat. Their first and only defeat in the 2007 Asian Cup qualification came on September 2006, when Kuwait defeated Australia 2-0 in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Later in 2006, Australia played two friendly matches against Paraguay and Ghana in their preparation for the 2007 Asian Cup. On December 19, Australia were seeded for the 2007 Asian Cup and subsequently drawn in Group A along with Thailand (one of the co-hosts), Oman and Iraq.

Australia began 2007 with a friendly match against Denmark, where they suffered their second defeat under Arnold. However, Australia bounced back in their next match, a 2-0 win away against China. Australia then played Uruguay, on June 2 in Sydney, which was known as 'The Rematch' despite the match not being an official FIFA international. Australia lost the match 2-1 with Mile Sterjovski scoring in the 6th minute but the scores were levelled in the 40th when Diego Forlan scored. But an error by young Australian keeper, Brad Jones, gave Uruguay the winner in the 77th minute.

On June 30, Australia defeated Singapore 3-0 in their final match prior to the Asian Cup. In this match, Harry Kewell returned to the Socceroos for the first time since the 2006 World Cup. He marked his return by scoring a goal in between captain Mark Viduka's brace.

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 equalizer 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.

outh 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. 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 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 Dubai, Iraq defeated Australia 1-0 through a wonder strike from Emad Mohammed. Australia then defeated Qatar 3-1 on 14 June in Doha to progress to the fourth round of the AFC qualifiers.

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.

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:"
*Joey Didulica - Croatia
*Anthony Šerić - Croatia
*Josip Šimunić - Croatia
*Tony Dorigo - England
*Saša Ilić - Serbia

"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:"
*Rhys Williams - Wales under-21. Born and grew up in Perth. Middlesbrough player was called up to the Welsh national side but has not yet played an A-International.
*Alex Cisak - Poland under-19. Grew up in Hobart, at age sixteen moved to Leicester City where he is now goalkeeper for the reserves.
*Shane Lowry - Republic of Ireland under-21.
*Paul Giannou - Greece under-19. Grew up in Melbourne, represented the Joeys in 2006. Also appeared in a pre-season friendly for Melbourne Victory in 2006. He now plays in the Greek second division for Apollon Kalamarias.
*Dean Bouzanis - Greece under-19. Currently playing in the reserves at Liverpool, has represented both Australia and Greece.

"The following players were eligible to play for Australia but chose other national teams:"
*Christian Vieri - Italy. Born in Italy, raised in Australia. Brother Max Vieri went on to represent Australia at senior level.
*Craig Johnston - England. Johnston was born in South Africa to Australian parents and raised in Australia. He played for England at the Under-21 level, but did not earn a senior cap.
*Ivan Ergić - Serbia. Born in then-Yugoslavia, raised in Australia.
*Georgios Samaras - Greece. His father was born in Australia. [cite news|url=|title=Star who slipped the net|publisher=The Age|date=24 May2006]

"Less notable players who were either born or eligible to play for Australia but chose other senior or youth national teams:"
*Buddy Farah - Lebanon. Played for the Olyroos before switching to Lebanon.
*Michael Reda - Lebanon.
*Jamie McMaster - England under-21. Represented England while playing for Leeds United, later played in the A-League for the Central Coast
*Kyle Nix - England under-19. Born to Englishman Peter Nix, while he played for Penrith City, but moved to England at a young age, spent three years at Manchester United and now plays for Bradford City.
*Aleksandar Durić - Singapore. Born in Yugoslavia, relocated to Australia, then moved to Singapore. In 2008 he played against the Socceroos in a friendly.

Fixtures and results

"Australian national football team results".

In 2006, Australia was involved in 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualification matches against Bahrain and Kuwait, 2006 FIFA World Cup matches in Germany, friendly matches as preparation for 2006 FIFA World Cup against Greece, Netherlands and Liechtenstein and friendly matches as preparation for 2007 AFC Asian Cup against Paraguay and Ghana.

In 2007, Australia was involved in friendly matches as preparation for 2007 AFC Asian Cup against Denmark, China, Uruguay, Singapore, Argentina and Nigeria and 2007 AFC Asian Cup matches in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

In 2008, Australia was involved in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Qatar, China and Iraq.

Tournament records

World Cup

Asian Cup


Previous squads

*2007 AFC Asian Cup Squads - Australia
*2006 FIFA World Cup squads - Australia
*2005 FIFA Confederations Cup squads - Australia
*2001 FIFA Confederations Cup squads - Australia
*1997 FIFA Confederations Cup squads - Australia
*1974 FIFA World Cup squads - Australia

Notable former players

:"Players are ordered by year of debut with national football team;1947
*Reg Date
*Joe Marston;1955
*Ron Lord;1965
*Johnny Warren;1967
*Attila Abonyi
*Ray Baartz
*Manfred Schaefer;1969
*Adrian Alston;1970
*Jimmy Rooney
*Peter Wilson;1974
*Harry Williams;1977
*John Kosmina;1979
*Eddie Krnčević;1980
*Alan Edward Davidson;1981
*David Mitchell
*Oscar Crino;1983
*Graham Jennings
*Charlie Yankos;1984
*Frank Farina;1985
*Graham Arnold;1986
*Paul Wade;1988
*Alex Tobin
*Mike Petersen
*Robbie Slater
*Paul Trimboli;1990
*Mehmet Durakovic
*Robert Zabica
*Daniel Segovia;1991
*Milan Ivanović
*Paul Okon
*Aurelio Vidmar
*Tony Vidmar
*Ned Zelić;1992
*Zeljko Kalac
*Damian Mori;1993
*Mark Bosnich
*Stan Lazaridis;1994
*Kevin Muscat;1995
*Craig Moore
*Tony Popovic;1996
*Paul Agostino;1997
*Josip Skoko

Players with most caps

As of 23 July 2007, the players with the most caps for Australia are:

Players with most goals

As of 22 July 2007, the players with the most goals for Australia are:


Most goals in a match

*13 - Archie Thompson (world record) v American Samoa, 2001
*8 - David Zdrillic v American Samoa, 2001
*7 - Gary Cole v Fiji, 1981
*6 - John Aloisi v Tonga, 2001
*5 - Damian Mori v Solomon Islands, 1997

Highest team score

*31 (world record) v American Samoa, 2001
*22 v Tonga, 2001
*17 v Cook Islands, 2000
*16 v Cook Islands, 1998
*13 v Solomon Islands, 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 qualifed 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 Nike, the Kit Supplier. Other sponsors include Foxtel, Hyundai, NAB, Powerade, Telstra & Westfield.

External links

* [ FFA official website]
* [ Archive of results 1922-]
* [ RSSSF archive of most capped players and highest goalscorers]
* [ RSSSF archive of coaches 1922-1998]
* [ the SBS World Game site]
* [ The Green & Gold Army Site]
* [ The Southern Cross]


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