Jumping on the Socceroos bandwagon? Here’s a cheat sheet

Jumping on the Socceroos bandwagon? Here's a cheat sheet

For the first time since 2006, the Socceroos are through to the Round of 16 at the World Cup.

Don’t know a lot about the Socceroos but want to watch the next game?

We’ve got you covered: here’s a quick guide to get you up to speed.

The history

This is the Socceroos’ sixth appearance at a World Cup and the equal furthest they’ve ever progressed.

They first qualified for the World Cup in 1974, but failed to score a goal.

Then there was 2006, which began with a win against Japan and ended with a loss to Italy in the Round of 16 after a controversial penalty goal.

In 2010, 2014 and 2018 there has only been one win.

The road so far

In 2022, the Socceroos almost failed to qualify for the World Cup at all.

They missed out on the four places reserved for Asian teams (Australia is part of the Asian Football Confederation), but were given a second chance to qualify in a play-off game against Peru.

That game went to penalty shootouts after a 0-0 draw and the Socceroos made it through thanks to backup goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne.

The coach

Graham Arnold has coached the team since 2018 and was previously an assistant coach, including during the 2006 World Cup run.

He is a former Australian player and a premiership-winning coach in the A-League. He is now the first Australian to coach the Socceroos to a World Cup win.

Key players

Mathew Leckie: The 31-year-old is an experienced player and was part of the 2014 and 2018 World Cup teams. He scored the only goal in Australia’s win over Denmark earlier this week. He plays for Melbourne City in the A-League.

Harry Souttar: The two-metre-tall, Scottish-born defender has played a starring role so far in this World Cup. He plays for English club Stoke City.

The opponent

Argentina is a giant of world football, a two-time World Cup winner and a three-time runner-up.

Argentina’s star player is Lionel Messi, one of the greatest players in the world. He now plays for major French club Paris Saint-Germain, but is best known for his time at FC Barcelona.

The 35-year-old has never won a World Cup, and this is generally regarded as his last chance.

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