Australia is making her 5th overall and fourth consecutive appearance at the FIFA World Cup in Russia 2018.
The Socceroos qualified through a play-off, defeating Honduras 3-1 over two legs.
Australia produced a substandard performance at the 2014 edition of the competition that took place in Brazil, losing all 3 group games and conceded 9 goals. The team will however be looking up to their veteran Tim Cahill for a better performance this time out. The former Everton player scored 11 goals in the qualification phase.
They are shaking hopes from the Australian fans due to their side disappointing results in the past few months. Ange Postecoglou resigned as head-coach just 2 weeks after the Socceroos qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They roped in Bert van Marwijk as new manager, who will oversee the team until the end of the tournament. These are turbulent times for Australian football to be honest as the successor of Marwijk is already announced, will be Graham Arnold, the current manager of A-League club Sydney FC.
Marwijk’s first game in charge was a 4-0 heavy defeat to Norway in November, however things are looking better with the team earning a goal-less draw and a thumping 4-0 win over Czech Republic in recent friendlies. The
Since their first appearance in 1974, Australia best world cup outing was a round of 16 finish in the 2006 edition in Germany. Nonetheless, Tim Cahill as reignited hope that his side will give everything for an unforgettable world cup memory. The Australian will have to battle Peru, Denmark, and 1998 world champions i.e. France for their second round of 16 world cup ticket in 5 world cup appearance.
Tim Cahill: The former Everton player is equipped with all required experience the Australians will need for a wonderful showdown. He is 38 years old, though Bert Van Marwijk will be looking up to the man who scored over 200 career goals. Moreover, he was their most influential player in the qualifying rounds scoring 11 goals in the process.
Mile Jedinak: He is a man you can lean on for organizing the midfield. The 33 year old who plays for Aston Villa guaranteed Australia place in the world cup by scoring thrice in the play-off against Honduras.
Aaron Mooy: The 27 year old is coming on the back of his full debut season in the English Premier League. He orchestrated the midfield for the newly promoted Huddersfield by topping the club log of the most passes made by a player. He was also a peripheral figure in the Terrier’s rise to Premier League from Championship back in the 2016/17 season.
The History of Australia at the World Cup
Total 4 previous appearances at the World Cups, first in 1974. They had to wait 32 years for their second appearance at the competition, in 2006 and 2018 will be their fourth in a row.
Their best is a round of 16 appearance in 2016 and knocked out of the group phase in all three other occasions.
The Final Verdict
The Socceroos fans can be rest assured that their team will be in a better shape than what they seen in the qualifying rounds. Bert van Marwijk is a man with history, having guided the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup finals. Moreover, the Group D is not the toughest and they can be considered equal favorites to clinch the second spot alongside Peru and Denmark. However, this is a massive task and I don’t see them going beyond the round of 16 if they get there.