The Socceroos will be keen to maintain their strong record against France when they take on the world's 25th ranked nation in Paris next month.
For any Aussie football fans planning a holiday or expats living around Europe, ticket information for the Socceroos international against France was released this week. You can access all the details of the match to be played in Paris on October 11 by clicking #GoSocceroos.
The Socceroos will be desperate to restore some national pride when they take on the world's 25th ranked nation in Paris. However Les Bleus have not yet secured their passage to next year's World Cup so will not be taking this "friendly" match lightly, as they prepare for vital qualifiers.
The French will no doubt be a difficult proposition on home soil and have produced some of the world's finest footballers. In preparation for the match we look at the history of the three previous meetings between the two nations which involved some true greats of the game.
Australia v France 0-1 Kirin Cup 26 May 1994
Australia-s first ever international against France was at the 1994 Kirin Cup, which was staged in Japan. From all reports the Aussies put in a fine performance against a star studded Les Bleus side but were undone by a solitary goal following a lapse in defence.
It was the Socceroos second match at the tournament, following a draw against the hosts. Robbie Slater, who was playing his club football in France at the time, helped lead the line for Australia in front of nearly 17,000 fans at the Universade Memorial Stadium.
The game was marred but horrendous conditions, with the torrential weather in Kobe forcing both sides to resort to long balls for much of the contest. One such instance brought France the only goal of the game just before half-time when the legendary Eric Cantona latched onto a chance.
The ball was crossed into the box and while Cantona was being marked he managed to get his head to the ball and sent a looping header over Zeljko Kalac who was off his line. Despite some hurried backpedalling from the Aussie goalkeeper, he was helpless the stop the ball trickling over the line.
At the other end, the Socceroos came up against Fabien Barthez, who was in superlative form in the French goal. Ned Zelic and Aurelio Vidmar both had chances to restore parity but unfortunately Australia would go on to lose 1-0, finishing the round-robin tournament on one point.
Australia v France 1-0 FIFA Confederations Cup 1 June 2001
The Socceroos recorded one of their greatest ever wins and a huge upset when they beat World Cup holders France at the Confederations Cup in the Korea Republic in 2001. It was a big week for football in Australia, having also beaten Brazil to go top of their group at the tournament.
Striker Clayton Zane scored the game's only goal just short of the hour mark, after the French failed to clear a Josip Skoko free-kick. Debutant goalkeeper Gregory Coupet could only palm it onto the woodwork and was powerless to stop Zane chipping it in for what proved to be the match winner.
"That's a fantastic result against the world champions," said Australia coach Frank Farina. "We did not play defensively and at half-time I told them to keep playing the same way."
"I'm very happy - the most pleasing aspect of the game was the manner in which we played, disciplined, technical, we were on another planet and the boys did extremely well."
Australia v France 1-1 International 11 November 2001
Australia proved their Confederations Cup result was no fluke and confirmed their status as a vastly improved footballing nation with a 1-1 draw against France on home soil in 2001. The result could have been even better on a rain soaked evening at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with the Socceroos having claims for a late penalty turned down.
Craig Moore opened the scoring just before the half-time break after Stan Lazaridis swung in a perfectly placed corner and Tony Vidmar nodded on at the near-post. Moore gratefully headed in from close range to give the Socceroos the lead.
Harry Kewell could have extended the margin within a minute after he volleyed over from near the edge of the penalty-area. Lazaridis was once again the provider, this time following a break down the left.
France drew level five minutes into the second half through a series of precise exchanges which defied the conditions. Robert Pires, Christophe Dugarry, and then Pires again worked the ball with bewildering speed through Australia's overwhelmed defence, for David Trezeguet to fire in the equaliser.
Australia's draw against the reigning World, European, and Confederation Champions was testimony to the Socceroos standing in the game. While most of the soaked 53,173 crowd would have settled for the result at kick-off, all bemoaned the referee's decision to turn down strong claims for a last minute penalty that could have given the Aussies another win.
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