World Cup 2022 team preview: Australia | Football News

The Socceroos have qualified for the fifth consecutive World Cup, but face an uphill battle in Group D.

Previous World Cup appearances: 1974, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018
Title: 0
Best ending: Round 16 (2006)
World Cup records: W2 D2 L10
Goal: 13
Biggest win: 3-1 vs Japan (2006)
Players to watch: Ajdin Hrustic (if he’s not injured)
Current ratings: 38
Things: France (November 22), Tunisia (November 26), Denmark (November 30)

Australians traditionally prefer Aussie rule football, rugby or cricket over traditional football – or “soccer” as it is called below.

Even so, sports fans across the country have embraced the Socceroos over the past two decades, thanks to a generation of golden players and four consecutive World Cup appearances.

This year’s tournament will be no different, but expectations will be extinguished after drawing France, Denmark and Tunisia, which are almost duplicates of their 2018 World Cup group stage, which included Peru instead of Tunisia and saw Socceroos being eliminated in the group stage alone. the point.

Golden generation

The Socceroos first qualified for the World Cup in 1974 with a team of amateur players and were eliminated from the tournament, scoring only one own goal.

It took 32 years for the nation to reach another World Cup when the country’s golden generation, including Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell and Tim Cahill, finally secured a spot at the 2006 tournament in Germany. .

This time, they had a flying start, defeating Japan with a score of 3-1 in the opening match. After a loss to Brazil and a draw against Croatia, the Socceroos made it through to the round of 16, where they were beaten 1-0 by Italy’s eventual champions, Italy.

Tim Cahill 2006
Australia’s Tim Cahill, fourth left, returns to the camera, celebrating his second goal against Japan with his teammates during the 2006 World Cup [David Gray/Reuters]

Australia would qualify for the next three tournaments but failed to make it past the group stage. Instead, their most memorable moment will come during the victorious 2015 AFC Asian Cup campaign.

More than 76,000 people filled the stands at the Australia Stadium in Sydney to witness a thrilling final as South Korea scored a last-minute equalizer to send it into extra time before James Troisi came on in the minute. 105 to score the goal and get the home crowd involved. happiness.

The current manager, Graham Arnold, took over in 2018 and led the team through a series of lackluster performances in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. However, redemption came to the born manager. Sydney as Australia qualified for their sixth World Cup through an impressive qualifying campaign as they beat the UAE and Peru in the knockout stages.

Balanced lineup

This Australian team may lack familiar names in its World Cup squad, but they offer an interesting balance between experience and young talent.

In goal, Australia can rely on the steady hand of Mathew Ryan, a former Brighton and Hove goalkeeper who is now trading for Danish side FC Copenhagen.

In defense, Trent Sainsbury’s substitute for central defender. The journey defender, who currently plays for Al-Wakrah in Qatar, has made a name for himself in the Dutch Eredivisie and has made more than 50 caps for the national team.

In midfield, Arnold will need to make some tough decisions with several players vying for similar positions. Aaron Mooy has impressed in performances for Celtic this season as No 8, where his creativity and keen passing have led to a number of assists.

Mooy will join Ajdin Hrustic, but he is currently a doubt for the league due to injury.

Australia v Peru - Ajdin Hrustic
Ajdin Hrustic celebrates after scoring a penalty in the penalty shootout against Peru during a FIFA World Cup qualifier at Al Rayyan Stadium in Qatar – June 13, 2022 [Mohammed Dabbous/Reuters]

Up front, the fast-paced Mathew Leckie will most likely be deployed on the flanks. The 31-year-old recently returned to Melbourne after a decade in Germany.

Leckie could be joined by Garang Kuol, an 18-year-old wonderkid who has come to Australia with his Sudanese family from Egypt for asylum and has recently signed for Newcastle United.

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