The Caltex Socceroos are continuing preparations for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup, returning to Craven Cottage in London to take on world number 13 Colombia in a high-profile friendly in March.
This blockbuster encounter will be the seventh time Australia has played an international friendly at the ground in west London.
While the Socceroos have experienced much success in the past, with five wins and a draw, the South American team will be their toughest opposition so far.
Let’s take a look back at the last fixtures in the lead up to the meeting between the two nations.
Australia 3-2 Saudi Arabia
September 8, 2014
Only their second game since the 2014 World Cup, the Caltex Socceroos were aiming to put an end to their winning drought.
And it 2-0 within 10 minutes, after Tim Cahill managed to find the net from close range before Mile Jedinak headed in Joshua Brillante’s fantastic free-kick.
However, the game changed soon after, with the Saudis pulling one back after keeper Mitchell Langerak conceded a penalty in the 70th minute.
But defender Bailey Wright capped his Caltex Socceroos debut with a goal seven minutes later, before the Saudi’s hit back again through Talsir Al Jassim eight minutes from time.
But Australia just held on to notch their second win in Ange Postecoglou’s tenure.
Australia 3-0 Canada
October 16, 2013
With an interim coach at the helm, the Caltex Socceroos were looking to bounce back after back-to-back 6-0 friendly losses to Brazil and France, which cost coach Holger Osieck his job.
And the response was emphatic. It didn’t even take one minute for Josh Kennedy to open the scoring in front of a 3000-strong crowd, after Mark Bresciano made a perfect cross straight to the marksman.
Australia continued to dominate the game in the second half, and Dario Vidosic doubled the lead in the 52nd minute with a header that edged just past the keeper.
Mathew Leckie then made it 3-0 11 minutes from the end, capitalising on a David Carney cross to head the ball into the bottom left corner.
This match also marked Jason Davidson and Leckie’s first starts for the national team, as well as Oliver Bozanic and Jackson Irvine’s debuts off the bench.
Australia 1-0 Nigeria
November 17, 2007
This match at Craven Cottage was marred by heavy rain, but that didn’t stop 12,000 spectators from going wild in the 52nd minute, after a ripper of a goal from then-Sheffield United midfielder David Carney.
What turned out to be Australia’s lone goal of the match was a sight to see, after a wrongly-cleared ball landed straight at his feet, and with one touch smashed it straight past the keeper.
Australia 5-0 Jamaica
October 9, 2005
This fixture came before the crucial play-off against Uruguay to book us a spot at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. And Guus Hiddink’s Aussies didn’t disappoint.
Despite an unfamiliar formation partly due to injury Hiddink’s experimentation, the Socceroos began strongly and continued to dominate throughout the match.
Mark Bresciano opened the scoring after just two minutes after he found enough space to send the ball over the reach of Jamaican keeper Shawn Sawyers.
Archie Thompson capitalised on a cross-field pass from Jason Culina, before slotting a low strike in before Mark Viduka also made it onto the scoresheet two minutes into the second half.
Only 10 minutes later John Aloisi got in on the act, scoring with his first touch before Joel Griffiths rounded off a five-star display when he tucked home after Aloisi’d initial effort rebounded off the post.
Next stop, Uruguay!
Australia 1-0 New Zealand
June 9, 2005
Australia’s traditional rivals put on a threatening display ahead of the Caltex Socceroos’ Confederations Cup match against Germany the next week.
As the minutes edged closer and closer towards full time, Frank Farina’s men looked like they would have to settle for a goalless draw.
But Simon Colosimo had other ideas, stepping up to the plate in the 87th minute and netting a cracker inside the far post that edged past the diving hand of keeper Mark Paston.
Australia 2-2 Norway
November 16, 2004
The Caltex Socceroos were looking to end 2004 with a bang after a year full of OFC Nations Cup and FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Then-coach Farina brought out the big guns for their first game at Craven Cottage, with England-based Mark Schwarzer, Lucas Neill, Stan Lazaridis, Brett Emerton, Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell joining Italy-based stars Vince Grella and Mark Bresciano on the field.
Norway was the first to hit home with Steffen Iversen in the 40th minute, but Australia soon responded after Bresciano set-up rising star Tim Cahill to equalise a minute before half-time.
Viduka was crucial in the Socceroos’ second goal, his fancy footwork giving the ball to Josip Skoko who let loose a strike in the 58th minute.
The 2-1 lead didn’t last for long, after Morten Pedersen’s left-footed cross tricked Schwarzer and flew in at the far post with 20 minutes to go.
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