World Cup countdown - 74 days to go

There was really only one thing we could dedicate to this day in the countdown.

There was really only one thing we could dedicate to this day in the countdown, and that was the squad that both helped Australia qualify and then represent the country at a FIFA World Cup for the first time.

Australia featured in the World Cup for the first time in 1974. In qualification the Socceroos recorded five wins, five draws and just one loss, an outstanding feat in itself just to get to Germany.

Seeded in Pot 4, Australia was drawn against hosts and eventual champions West Germany (Germany FR), plus neighbours East Germany (Germany DR) and Chile.

Led by captain Peter Wilson, the Socceroos faced Germany DR in their opening match and would succumb to two second half goals in Hamburg, the first of which was an unfortunate own goal from Colin Curran.

Next it was a gallant 3-0 loss to Germany FR before the Socceroos secured their historic first point in a World Cup when it played out a scoreless draw with Chile. That game saw Ray Richards go down in history as the first Australian player to be sent off in a World Cup match after he received a second yellow card seven minutes from time.

They might not have found the back of the net, but this team became pioneers of Australian football and gave the country its first taste of competing on the world-s biggest stage.

In reflecting on that squad of 1974, it would also be remiss not to mention Ray Baartz, who played a significant role in the qualifying campaign and travelled with the squad to the World Cup but cruelly missed the tournament after suffering a serious injury in a ‘friendly- against Uruguay just months out.

Being the 40th anniversary since that 1974 World Cup, the Socceroos- kit for Brazil 2014 is a tribute to the one worn by that 1974 squad.

Show your support for the Socceroos and order your new kit today! Click here to purchase yours.

Socceroos 1974 World Cup squad Coach - Zvonimir Rasic 1 Jack Reilly 2 Doug Utjesenovic 3 Peter Wilson (c) 4 Manfred Schaefer 5 Colin Curran 6 Ray Richards 7 Jimmy Rooney 8 Jimmy Mackay 9 Johnny Warren 10 Gary Manuel 11 Attila Abonyi 12 Adrian Alston 13 Peter Ollerton 14 Max Tolson 15 Harry Williams 16 Ivo Rudic 17 Dave Harding 18 John Watkiss 19 Ernie Campbell 20 Branko Buljevic 21 Jimmy Milisavlevic 22 Allan Maher