What The Players And Coach Had To Say
So what did the players and coach Guus Hiddink have to say in the minutes after their qualification for the World Cup finals. Here are few quotes.
It was a night full of many emotions, exhilaration as John Aloisi-s penalty shot beat Fabian Carini to give Australia a 4-2 win on penalties, was also mixed with a huge sigh of relief.
The curse that has plagued Australian football for the last 32 years was finally broken and Australia will head back to Germany, where they played in the one and only World Cup finals to date in 1974.
For the players who have produced blood, sweat and tears for the cause over many years, it was a sweet, sweet moment.
We have gathered some of the words of the players and also coach Guus Hiddink.
Lucas Neill - “We-re used to picking our favourite team in the World Cup and hoping they-ll do well and now it-s going to be Australia-s turn. This will take some time to sink in, it-s something that you dream all your life to do and now we-re there. Not just for us but everybody associated with football, soccer, and as a nation we-ve realised a dream.
John Aloisi (pictured above right) - "Finally. We thought it was going to happen, we were dreaming this for 32 years. You couldn't ask for a better finish with 83,000 people here to watch us, 20 million people in Australia following us. We just can't believe it."
Mark Viduka - "The crowd tonight were unbelievable, I've never seen a crowd like that.”
"We're not going to go there just to make us the numbers. I think we've got this inner confidence now. We've had 30 years of bad luck or whatever you want to call it, not being able to qualify. Now we have qualified, the sky is the limit.
"I'll tell you if we get four weeks together we're going to be flying. Just to be a part of the team that's going to roll up to Germany to wear the green and gold and mix it with the best, and not just mix it but I think compete, is amazing."
Harry Kewell - "It's up there, its probably the highest. You can't explain what the feeling is like when you're out there. We've made a big step forward now, and now we've just got to look forward to the World Cup."
Tony Vidmar - ”We battered them. We dominated the whole 120 minutes. Our composure in the penalties was fantastic. The boys are going to make some humble pie - there-s a few people out there that will be eating it tonight.”
Vince Grella - “It-s unbelievable. We worked so hard for this. The team in the past week has really bonded. We were a little tense in the first 20 minutes but as soon as we calmed down we played good football.
Tim Cahill - "We've got no one to fear, why should we fear anyone. I think we've earned a lot of respect tonight. (The playoff) was the biggest question to answer, and as for the World Cup I think it's in anyone's hands now, because everyone's equal."
"We've definitely got a great squad of players who play all over Europe, a great manager, great staff, we've just got to take advantage of it and mix it with the best."
Guus Hiddink “This was a huge challenge. We had not much time to prepare. I-ve just told the guys that everything we-ve done since August was aimed at for this. I must give these guys a huge compliment.
“I am very proud of the guys who did it. Not just the 13 or 14 that played today, but all the guys on the bench and had played in the other games and the camps in Holland and England.
”They were so eager to get on this huge and almost impossible target (the World Cup), after 32 years. So that is why I am very proud of them.
“In my opinion we caused too many free kicks, we were too eager in the duels and made a lot of free kicks which was concerning. It is difficult to play against a defensively organised team, but we did and I think we did it in a way that we practiced, not losing pur heads and playing the way we liked to play.”
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