Players in the mood to party with fans
The Qantas Socceroos have completed their graduation into world football's elite. Now bring on the after-party.
DOHA, June 7 AAP - The Qantas Socceroos have completed their graduation into world football's elite. Now bring on the after-party.
The Qantas Socceroos secured back-to-back World Cup finals berths for the first time with a scoreless draw against a determined Qatar in Doha on Saturday night (Sunday morning AEST).
It was a long way from the euphoria of the penalty shootout win over Uruguay four years ago, which took them to Germany in 2006.
But in its own way, it was equally spectacular - achieved with two games to go, without losing a game in the final stage of qualification or conceding a goal.
"I'm just absolutely buzzing," star Tim Cahill said.
"Hopefully everyone appreciates it, we know they do.
"This is a reward for Australia, this is a reward for everyone, especially the kids, they can live all their dreams."
After decades of World Cup heartbreak, in which the Qantas Socceroos only reached only one World Cup between 1930 and 2002, they have ushered in a new era with successive qualifications.
That began with a magnificent showing at the 2006 World Cup, where the Qantas Socceroos progressed from their group under Guus Hiddink and were beaten narrowly by eventual champions Italy.
Any doubts that performance was a fluke were blown away by the emphatic style of qualification in Australia's first campaign under new hero Pim Verbeek - the first since moving to the Asian Football Confederation.
There are still matches to come, against Bahrain in Sydney on Wednesday and Japan in Melbourne a week later.
Those matches promise to be big `thank you' parties, from the team to the fans and vice versa.
But mostly it's a celebration that those days of heartbreak and hard luck stories are long gone.
"Talking 10 years ago, Australia's dream was just to make the World Cup," midfielder Vince Grella said.
"Now we've made two in row and and I think we shouldn't forget how important it is."
'He’s got something that a lot of youngsters don’t have': Arnold on Arzani
Celtic is the ideal destination for Daniel Arzani to continue his development, says Caltex Socceroos boss Graham Arnold. The 19-year-old sealed his two-year loan move from Manchester City to the Scottish champions last Friday. It's a huge step for the Iranian-born attacker,
Aussies Abroad: Irvine's brilliant brace for Hull City
Jackson Irvine had only scored two goals in 40 appearances for Hull City before this mornings 3-2 win over Rotherham United. But the Caltex Socceroos’ midfielder blew that record out of the water with a brilliant double in 47 minutes as he inspired the Tigers to their first wi
New dawn, new goal-scoring style says Arnold
Australia coach Graham Arnold has declared his Caltex Socceroos side will look to develop a new style in order to score more goals ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. It’s something of a new dawn for international football in Australia, with the FIFA World Cup™ in the rear-view m
Caltex Socceroos to face Korea Republic in Brisbane in November
Football Federation Australia (FFA), the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council today announced that the Caltex Socceroos will host Korea Republic in an international friendly match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, 17 November 2018. FFA CEO David Gallop was