How the Socceroos beat Brazil & France to finish third at FIFA Confederations Cup 2001
Tuesday marks the 19th anniversary since the Socceroos triumphed against Brazil in the third place play-off at the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Korea/Japan.
The Socceroos’ performance at the FIFA Confederations Cup earned admirers from around the world as they proved they had what it took to compete at the highest level as they rubbed shoulders with football’s elite.
No one expected the Aussies to go as far as they did in the tournament, let alone get one over Brazil.
To celebrate the Socceroos spectacular displays at the Confederations Cup, we have recapped their journey, which culminated in that standout victory over the Seleção.
Australia was placed in group A for the tournament, alongside France (1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000 winners), Mexico (1999 FIFA Confederations Cup winners) and South Korea (Co-hosts).
The Socceroos kicked off their tournament against Mexico at Suwon World Cup Stadium on May 30.
Frank Farina’s men secured a 2-0 win; Shaun Murphy scored the first goal for the green and gold 20 minutes in, before Josip Skoko made sure of the points with his effort in the 54th minute.
Their second group stage fixture saw them travel to Daegu to take on a French outfit which featured the likes of Marcel Desailly, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira.
The Socceroos held their own for the first half and kept the French at bay with the score still 0-0 at the break.
The breakthrough eventually arrived on the hour mark through Aussie striker Clayton Zane who came up with the goods after he tapped in Skoko’s free kick.
The Socceroos managed to defend their 1-0 lead for the remainder of the clash to secure a victory that sent shockwaves across the globe.
Australia returned to Suwon for their final group stage encounter against co-hosts South Korea.
South Korea went down 5-0 to France in their opener before recording a 2-1 win against Mexico in their second match.
They went on to beat the Socceroos with Hwang Seon-hong’s strike proving to be the difference.
The win put them on six points, equal with Australia however their heavy defeat against France proved to be costly as the Aussies sealed second spot and progressed to the semi-finals thanks to their superior goal difference.
Japan awaited the Socceroos in the semi-final with the match played out in front of over 45,000 people in Yokohama.
Japan beat Australia 1-0 thanks to a superb free kick from playmaker Hidetoshi Nakata.
Australia’s semi-final defeat saw them book a place with world heavyweights Brazil, who had lost 2-1 in their semi-final against France.
Brazil were the safe bet heading into the fixture given the array of talent throughout their squad.
The Socceroos performance on this day 19 years ago sent a message around the football world as Murphy popped up with the decisive goal for the green and gold with just over five minutes remaining in the contest.