Thank you, Fox Sports: 15 years of iconic Socceroos moments

For over a decade, Fox Sports' coverage brought some of the most iconic moments in Socceroos history into millions of Australian living rooms. 

As a 15-year partnership comes to a close, takes a look back at some of the iconic Fox Sports and Socceroos broadcast moments.

It is an important time to recognise and remember the significant investment Fox Sports and Foxtel made to Australian football.

 “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the enormous contribution that Fox Sports have made to Australian football over the last 15-years. Fox Sport’s commitment, leadership and significant investment has helped evolve our game to where it is today, and for that, we will always be grateful,” said Football Australia CEO, James Johnson.

Starting as the inaugural broadcast partner for the A-League in August 2005, Fox Sports supported the game through so many memorable highs.

While we recognise their commitment to energising the professional game in Australia, it marks a fitting occasion to look back at some of the iconic moments that have been shared. 

Socceroos Jordan

2007 AFC Asian Cup - Our First Asian Campaign

The Socceroos joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2006 of course and in June of that same year, defeated Japan at the World Cup to signal their intent in Asian football. 

A year later and fresh off the nation's best-ever finish at the World Cup, they made their debut at the AFC Asian Cup.

Australia finished second in a group featuring Oman, Iraq and Thailand to secure a tantalising rematch with Japan in the Quarter Finals. 

Unfortunately Australia struggled to make its mark on the tournament at the first attempt, suffering elimination on penalties. 

Ultimately, it was a tournament where Graham Arnold’s battlers failed to replicate their impressive World Cup form but instead, they laid the foundations for success in Asia in the years to come. 

FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa Qualifying - Back-to-back on the Biggest Stage

 “Australia sail serenely to South Africa as top-dog in their group and with their top-dog status in Asia secured.”

Fox Sports brought to life Australia's first path to a FIFA World Cup through Asia. It meant that instead of relying on a one-off two-legged playoff once every four years, the Socceroos had to go through two group stages of Asian qualifying.

Under the guidance of Pim Verbeek, Australia navigated a tricky opening group with relative comfort. A home win over Uzbekistan in the final round meant Australia needed only a draw from their final three matches to qualify and they did just that.

Amazingly, they only conceded one goal in the final round of qualifying and celebrated their passage to South Africa with a 2-1 win over Japan in their final match of the group. 

2011 AFC Asian Cup - Heartbreak at the Final Hurdle

The Socceroos went into the 2011 Asian Cup full of hope under the management of new head coach Holger Osieck.

This time in the final, fierce rivals Japan stood between Australia and their first AFC Asian Cup. 

Despite dominating much of the game and playing with tremendous attacking verve and fluency, the Socceroos would ultimately fall just short.

“Australia’s golden generation is denied silverware. It was not to be their finest hour, but it is Japan's,” said Simon Hill in commentary.

A line that would haunt Aussie football fans for the next four years, but fortunately, no longer than that.

Carl Valeri scored a goal in Australia's semi final win over Uzbekistan at the 2011 Asian Cup

FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil Qualifying - Kennedy The Redeemer

The Socceroos qualified for three consecutive FIFA World Cups when Josh Kennedy famously headed home the winner against Iraq in Sydney.

Kennedy nodded the ball into the bottom corner to send the Olympic Stadium crowd into ecstasy and secure a spot at the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

It was a fitting end to a tough qualification campaign that saw Holger Osieck’s men finish second in their qualifying group.

Simon Hill had this to say as the final whistle blew as Australia secured their place in Brazil.

Australia have done it! That’s three in a row for the Socceroos. They are the nation's darlings once again as they book their tickets for Brazil. It has been a long hard road with plenty of stumbles along the way but Australia will once again dine at the top table of world football. The angst of the last 18 months is forgotten. Tonight is about qualification and celebration.”

2015 AFC Asian Cup - Champions At Last

On the 31st of January 2015, former Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak raised the AFC Asian Cup trophy into the Sydney night sky as the Green and Gold created history in front of a sold-out Stadium Australia.

It was a dramatic 2-1 extra-time win over South Korea that rounded off a tournament of high-quality football, sold-out venues, record-breaking media coverage and the Socceroos' first major trophy in the Asian confederation.

Simon Hill and Andy Harper’s iconic commentary of James Troisi’s 105th-minute winner will be etched in the memory of Socceroos fans for generations to come.

 “Goal for Australia! James Troisi, can that be the Asian Cup? Oh boy, listen to this! Tommy Juric was backed into a corner but somehow, he found the gap and James Troisi was the Johnny on the spot. Australia lead again,” Hill screamed before Harper interjected.

 “Well Australia needed Tommy Juric to get involved in the game and not only does he get involved but he sticks to the task. He fights for possession, he gets rid of two opponents, he squares the ball into the penalty area and it's Kim Jin-hyeon who could only palm that ball into the onrushing James Troisi. That is sensational work from Tommy Juric!” Harper exclaimed.

 FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia Qualifying - An Epic Journey

Ange Postecoglou’s side carried their 2015 Asain Cup title into AFC Qualification, where they comfortably topped their group in the first phase.

Draws with Saudi Arabia, Japan, Iraq and Thailand in the next phase meant that Australia would finish in third place.

The Socceroos then had to face Syria over two legs for the chance to qualify through the inter-confederation playoffs. After a draw in the first leg, Tim Cahill netted twice to secure a dramatic passage through to the playoffs.

Next up was CONCACAF representatives, Honduras, who the Socceroos defeated 3-1 on aggregate courtesy of an emphatic Mile Jedinak hat-trick.

Once again, Simon Hill summed up the night perfectly in commentary at Stadium Australia.

Australia have done it! It has taken 884 days, 22 games and an awful lot of soul searching along the way, but Australia are going to their fourth consecutive World Cup Finals. Stadium Australia comes up trumps for the Roos once again. The road to Moscow is complete.”

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifying - A Perfect Start

The Socceroos completed a perfect second round of FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying with eight wins from eight games.

The Asian Qualifiers saw Australia top Group B with 24 points after brushing aside Kuwait, Chinese Taipei, Nepal and Jordan - with an unforeseen 18-month break in between. 

Fox Sports commentators Brenton Speed and Andy Harper were again on hand to articulate all the action for one last time. And as the final whistle blew, Speed said:

“Eight wins from eight, perfection in the group stage for Australia. The Socceroos go through to the next phase of qualification knowing that tougher tasks lie ahead.”

As we close the page on a memorable partnership, on behalf of all Australian football fans, it signals a chance to say thank you to everyone involved in broadcasting these iconic moments and many more.