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."
Aussies Abroad: Nabbout, Urawa Red Diamonds win Emperors Cup final
Andrew Nabbout emerged an Emperors Cup Final winner with Urawa Red Diamonds after the J-League outfit defeated Vegalta Sendai 1-0 yesterday evening. Nabbout was an unused substitute as the Reds clinched the trophy thanks to an early strike from Tomoya Ugajin. It is Urawa’s
'Amazing reward': Cahill to feature in FIFA World Football Museum
A pair of Tim Cahill’s boots will join items like the FIFA World Cup trophy, match balls from some of football’s biggest occasions and rare match-worn shirts in FIFA’s World Football Museum in Switzerland. The Caltex Socceroos legend revealed on Instagram on Sunday morning (AE
Boyle given 'all clear' following 'nasty collision'
Caltex Socceroos attacker Martin Boyle has been given the “all clear” following a head knock in Hibernian’s Scottish Premiership win at Hamilton Academical on Sunday morning (AEDT). Boyle needed lengthy treatment before half time after clashing with Hamilton’s Gary Woods and s
Aussies Abroad: Rogic helps Celtic to big win, Mooy suffers late loss
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Tom Rogic provided an assist as Celtic thumped Kilmarnock 5-1 to leapfrog their opponents and move to the top of the Scottish Premiership table. But Huddersfield Town suffered a heartbreaking defeat, with Arsenal needing a late moment of magic to do