The Caltex Socceroos' last five games at Melbourne's Docklands Stadium - venue for October 11's blockbuster World Cup qualifier with Japan - have seen memorable goals and wins for the Australians.
Here's a look back at those games...
Australia 1-2 Greece – June 2016: Greeks' stunning goal
This friendly match will be remembered for a stunning goal from Greek defender Ioannis Maniatis, who lobbed Caltex Socceroo keeper Adam Federici with an audacious shot from inside his own half. The incredible goal came in a fiery first half dominated by the Europeans. They led 2-0 at the break after winger Petros Mantalos had earlier given them the lead before Maniatis’ bit of brilliance. The Socceroos improved after the break and pulled a goal back through defender Trent Sainsbury, who nodded in from close range after Mark Milligan’s initial effort hit the crossbar. Despite their best efforts, there was no equaliser in what was Australia’s first home defeat in nine matches to end a long season for our boys.
Australia 4-0 Jordan – June 2013: Australians in Kruse control
Needing to stay alive in the hunt to automatically qualify for Brazil 2014, the equation was simple for the Socceroos. Nothing but three points would do. It took just 15 minutes for Holger Osieck’s troops to delight more than 43,000 fans as Mark Bresciano slammed home Robbie Kruse’s excellent cross. Kruse was involved again on the hour mark as Tim Cahill headed in to make it 2-0 before Kruse added the third himself, nutmegging a defender with a blind turn and smashing one into the far corner. But the best was saved for last as skipper Lucas Neill – in his 91st international – scored his first Socceroos goal nodding in from close range to get the party started. A win over Iraq a few days later in Sydney and Australia was off to the FIFA 2014 World Cup.
Australia 0-0 Serbia – June 2011: Stalemate with Serbia
Serbia headed to Melbourne in 2011 less than a year after the Socceroos had beaten them 2-1 at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The result cost Serbia a berth in the round of 16 so they were keen to exact some form of revenge on the hosts. And it was an enthralling contest as both sides went for it. Brett Holman, whose long-range goal stunned the Serbians at the World Cup, forced a diving save from Damir Kahriman, while a fierce volley whizzed just past the post midway through the first half. The hosts had the best chance of an even second half with sub James Troisi seeing his shot was blocked by the impressive Kahriman.
Australia 1-0 Oman - October 2009: It's Timmy Time!
With just one point from their opening two AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, the Socceroos needed a late Tim Cahill goal to hand them victory and get their campaign back on track. Willed on by more than 20,000 fans, the hosts carved out a host of chances with Harry Kewell and Josh Kennedy both unlucky not to get on the scoresheet in the first half. Oman were doing well to repel Australia for much of the match until Cahill struck 16 minutes from time, arriving late into the box to sneak a low Scott Chipperfield cross in off the far post.
Australia 3-0 Qatar - February 2008: 3-0 after 33 minutes!
A fabulous first-half from the Socceroos proved the difference in this FIFA World Cup qualifier as the home side cruised to a comfortable win. Newly appointed coach Pim Verbeek put out an attacking line-up and Australia was immediately on the front foot, taking just 11 minutes to take the lead. Brett Emerton’s pinpoint cross found its way to the towering Josh Kennedy who directed his header into the far corner. It was 2-0 seven minutes later as Tim Cahill leapt highest to glance a header in from a corner before Mark Bresciano made it three on 33 minutes with a perfectly-hit strike from Scott McDonald’s pass.
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