Friday, June 02, 2006

TEAM SPOTLIGHT - Go Socceroos !!!


Seeing their team photo it’s easy to believe them to be the World Champions Brazil. But then this is Australia, also known as the Socceroos; a top sporting nation who have just got over the disappointments of losing in the football playoffs in 1985, 1993, 1997 and 2001 by qualifying for Germany 2006.

Their only previous World Cup came in 1974 in Germany again; they need to score goals to erase the bittersweet memory of 1974 where they failed to score a single goal.

Australia surprisingly least known among the top football nations are the dark horses to watch in this World Cup. They have come a long way in sports and especially in football since their sports revolution began.

Australia boasts of a strong and experienced line-up with most of its players having played in Europe for long. Their main players include their inspirational captain Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell, John Aloisi, Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer and Craig Moore.

The Australian side is coached by the legendary Dutchman Guus Hiddink whose earlier done wonders with the Dutch and South Korean sides in the World Cup. Their road to the World Cup had always been tough even after topping the Oceania group in the qualifiers.

Recent History

They had to play South American old warhorses in the playoffs to the World Cup. After managing to hold Uruguay to a draw in the away leg, they won their home leg in penalties 4-2. Soon the celebrations began and their goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer became the nation’s darling.

Australia also had phenomenal success against other major International sides and their world ranking of 44 hardly seems to bother them.

Their 3-1 win over England in 2003 showed a lot of what the side was capable of doing in this World Cup.

Also their recent win over Euro Cup 2004 winners Greece gave a huge boast to the side. The Socceroos next friendly before the World Cup is against the Netherlands.

Recent news of Harry Kewell being able to play their first game against Japan makes the side full strength. They coach Hiddink has a lot of plans to plot the defeat of Japan, only time can tell if his romance with football will continue.

Australia is in Group F along with Brazil, Japan and Croatia.

The Squad

Goalkeepers

1) Mark Schwarzer, 12) Ante Covic, 18) Zeljko Kalac

Defenders

2) Lucas Neill, 3) Craig Moore, 6) Tony Popovic, 14) Scott Chipperfield, 16)Michael Beauchamp, 22) Mark Milligan

Midfielders

4)Tim Cahill, 5)Jason Culina, 7)Brett Emerton, 8)Josip Skoko, 11)Stan Lazaridis, 13)Vince Grella, 20)Luke Wilkshire, 21)Mile Sterjovski, 23)Marco Bresciano

Forwards

9) Mark Viduka, 10)Harry Kewell, 15)John Aloisi, 17)Archie Thompson, 19)Joshua Kennedy

3 Comments:

Anonymous Cruz said...

This is the group of death. Brazil beware, 2 bad games and they are out.

3:46 AM  
Anonymous Shank said...

Soccerooles the WC

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I am a webmaster of Deportivo Alavés of Spain, the team of John Aloisi. Here we have special affection to John. We have created a special section for Australia and Aloisi in this World cup. You can visit us in: www.babazorros.com
Thanks!!
Go Aloisi! Go Socceroos!

4:39 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home