World Cup countdown - 84 days to go

It was a historic moment in Australian football, and it came in the 84th minute.

It was a historic moment in Australian football, and it came in the 84th minute.

With time ticking away deep in the second half, the Socceroos were staring down the barrel of defeat as they trailed Japan 1-0 in their opening game of the 2006 World Cup, their first appearance in the tournament since 1974.

The time clock ticks over to the 84th minute - suddenly enter Tim Cahill. A long Lucas Neill throw in from the left creates panic in the Japanese penalty area, the Blue Samurai keeper ambitiously rushing off his line to try and fist the ball, and the danger, away. He fails to make connection, thanks largely to the aerial contest made by Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy.

The ball resultantly spills out to Harry Kewell whose desperate attempt at a shot is blocked by a defender. Then, as he has done so often for both club and country, Cahill is in the right spot at the right time to pounce, drilling the ball between the legs of team mate John Aloisi and past two Japanese defenders into the back of the net - Australia-s first ever goal in a World Cup!

But if that wasn-t enough, who would have envisaged what was to follow as the goal triggered a Socceroos avalanche, Cahill striking again and then Aloisi adding another to give Australia a stirring come-from-behind 3-1 victory.

After the game, which kicked off at 3am on the Australian east coast, stories surfaced of people who had been watching the game at home in their living rooms and had either gone to get a cup of tea, have a shower or hop back to bed with Japan in front 1-0, which saw them miss eight phenomenal history making minutes in Kaiserslautern.

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