Today’s fact revolves around a positive Socceroos stat in what was to ultimately be an unsuccessful attempt at qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.
Today-s fact revolves around a positive Socceroos stat in what was to ultimately be an unsuccessful attempt at qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.
In its final qualification journey as part of Oceania before becoming part of Asia, the Socceroos found the back of the net 72 times in their 2002 Oceania World Cup qualifying campaign. Sure the countries Australia faced are hardly football colossi, but you still have to beat whatever opponent is in front of you.
Remarkably, 53 of those 72 goals came in two games - 22 against Tonga in Coffs Harbour and then 31 against American Samoa three days later to give the Socceroos an average of 12 goals per game from their six qualifiers. In the process they only conceded one goal, that blemish coming in a 4-1 result against New Zealand.
But while this makes for pretty reading, it does not include the final playoff against Uruguay, which would see the Socceroos pipped at the final hurdle as they went down 4-1 on aggregate. A Kevin Muscat penalty gave the Socceroos a 1-0 lead after the home leg at the MCG, but it came unstuck in Montevideo as the Uruguayans scored three times without reply to book their place in the World Cup and leave the Socceroos having to wait another four years.
Now it-s only 72 days until the Socceroos are on the world stage again.
Socceroos 2002 Oceania World Cup Qualifiers 09-04-2001 v Tonga (Coffs Harbour) - result: W 22-0 11-04-2001 v American Samoa (Coffs Harbour) - result W 31-0 14-04-2001 v Fiji (Coffs Harbour) - result: W 2-0 16-04-2001 v Samoa (Coffs Harbour) - result: W 11-0 20-06-2001 New Zealand (Wellington) - result: W 2-0 24-06-2001 New Zealand (Sydney) - result: W 4-1
The final chance to see the Socceroos on home soil before they head to Brazil 2014 will be when they take on South Africa in a farewell game on May 26 in Sydney. Tickets for the match, presented by NAB, are on sale now. Click here to secure yours today.