The brutal words that kick-started Socceroos' FIFA World Cup 2010 campaign
Friday marks the anniversary of Australia’s 1 – 1 draw against Ghana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
It was a remarkable turnaround for the green and gold after being completely outplayed by Germany in a 4-0 thrashing just days prior.
An efficient German outfit overcame the Socceroos in a performance that heaped pressure on Australia Coach Pim Verbeek.
Speaking to Daniel Garb on the former Fox Sports journalists’ new podcast, Brett Holman recalls a players-only talk directly after the game ignited a fire within the squad.
“We had a sit-down to say this was ridiculous,” Holman told Greats with Garby.
“There were hard words, but we needed to show this isn’t the way Australians go down.”
The soul-searching talk worked as a courageous Socceroos drew with a strong Ghanaian side days later despite playing most of the game with ten men.
Holman etched his name into Australian footballing folklore by scoring Australia’s opener in the eleventh minute.
Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson could only parry Marco Bresciano’s long range free kick with Holman quickest to react, poking the ball home in a moment he holds dearly.
“It was the best moment I’ve ever experienced in my entire career,” said Holman.
“You see the ball in the net and you think it’s a dream - you don’t think it’s reality.”
The Socceroos then defeated Serbia with Holman scoring against a backline featuring Nemanja Vidic, Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov.
The only thing that stood between Australia and progressing past the ‘group of death’ was goal difference, a tremendous comeback from its opening matchday debacle.
Holman again credited the talk lead by senior players after the its defeat against Germany as the catalyst for Australia’s fightback.
“This is three years of hard work and we are throwing it away,” Holman recalls hearing.
“We are disrespecting the Aussie jersey.”
“We said whatever happens in the next two games, we need to keep our heads high and show the world who we are.”