The name given to the senior Australian Soccer team. I am unsure as to why the Australian team find it necessary to have a slightly childish name and cannot, like the rest of the worlds teams, simply be referred to by their countries name. If we're going to give our team a silly name it may as well be the Super Downunder Soccer Koala's.
The Socceroos have made the World Cup only once, travelling to the 1974 tournament in Germany. In a tough group they did not fair well , losing two games (to East and West Germany)and drawing the other (against Chile). They scored only once, unfortunately an own goal.
Australia's problems in reaching the highest stage of soccer competition can mainly be put down to the fact that FIFA do not provide an automatic qualification spot for the Oceania region. The top team must play off over two legs against a team from another region, most recently Asia and South America. The Oceania regional games are tantamount to a joke. In the current qualification campaign the Socceroos racked up a 31-0 win against American Samoa.
They missed out on the last two World Cup's by the narrowest of margins. They missed out on the 1994 competition in the USA after a single piece of brilliance from Argentina's Diego Maradona. This was arguably Maradona's last contribution of any significance to the world of football.
In 1997 they were cruely eliminated by Iran despite remaining undefeated throughout qualification. Australia achieved a magnificent 1-1 draw in Tehran with Harry Kewell picking up the important away goal. They then went two goals up in the home leg before the game was held up by serial pest Peter Hore. Once play resumed the Iranians scored two quick goals on the break putting them through on the away goals rule.
The Socceroos are one game away from achieving their World Cup goal this year. Earlier today (several hours prior to me writing this node) they achieved a 1-0 home win over a highly rated Uruguayan team. The much maligned Kevin Muscat scoring the crucial penalty. If they can come through the away leg they will once again be given the chance to strut their stuff on the greatest sporting stage. Forget the so-called baseball World Series, this is the World Cup where the top 32 teams from around the world (not just the US and Canada) play off for the most prestigious trophy of all time.
The current starting XI is as follows:
Mark Schwarzer - GK
Paul Okon - Captain
Notable exclusion from this team include Mark Bosnich(lacking first team practice), Danny Tiatto (suspension), Ned Zelic (he threw a tantrum when he wasn't appointed captain and hasn't played for them since) and Tony Popovic(injured).