Australia played 22 games to qualify for the tournament, the most of any nation in history.
Australia World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
Australia’s torturous path through qualification for the 2018 World Cup encompassed 22 games (the most of any nation in history), 11 different opponents and 250,000 kilometres of travel. They only lost twice, but too many draws meant they missed automatic qualification on goal difference to Saudi Arabia. Four tight play-off games followed, before a fourth consecutive World Cup qualification was secured with a 3-1 home win over Honduras in front of nearly 80,000 in Sydney.
Related: World Cup TV Schedule
Key Moments in Qualifying
Ange Postecoglou introduces a new back-three system which is unconvincing in a 1-1 draw in Tehran against Iraq.
Australia rack up 44 shots on goal against Thailand, but can only win 2-1. The same night, Saudi Arabia beat Japan 1-0 to consign Australia to the play-offs.
A report appears in Melbourne’s Herald Sun claiming Postecoglou will quit after the play-offs, whether the team qualifies or not. Postecoglou refuses to confirm or deny the story.
Australia beat Honduras 3-0 on aggregate to book their place in Russia, but Postecoglou quits his post a week later.
Australia World Cup Group
Australia World Cup Friendlies
On the 23rd of March Australia will travel to Norway for a friendly, before facing Colombia four days later.
- 23rd March – Norway
- 27th March – Colombia
Related: World Cup Friendlies
Australia World Cup Fixtures
The Socceroos start their World Cup against France on the 16th of June, and then Christian Eriksen’s Denmark on the 21st and Peru on the 26th.
- 16th June – France
- 21st June – Denmark
- 26th June – Peru
Related: World Cup Fixtures
Bert van Marwijk, age 65, (19.05.1952)
Ange Postecoglou quit in November despite leading the team to Asian Cup success in 2015 and the World Cup Finals. “This has been a very tough decision for me,” he said of his decision to stand down. “All this has taken a toll on me both personally and professionally. I have invested all I can knowing how important a period it was for Australian football.” Postecoglou, who won four national league titles as a coach and two as a player, is expected to return to club football. Former Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk has been announced as the new head coach. The Dutchman offers experience to the role, his crowning achievement getting the Netherlands to the World Cup Final in 2010.
Aaron Mooy is regarded as the best of the new generation. However, he had a big fallout with Postecoglou after being left on the bench for the second leg of the Syria tie.
Mile Jedinak again proved his worth upon his return from a long injury lay-off against Honduras, hitting a hat-trick in the second leg.
Tim Cahill, now 38, put a question mark against his participation in a fourth consecutive World Cup by claiming he needs “more game time” with Melbourne City if he is to make Russia. Even at 38, he is still a vital cog.
Matt Jurman made his senior bow on the left side of the back three in the away leg of the AFC play-off against Syria and looked very much at home.
Australia World Cup Squad
Australia are yet to announce their 2018 World Cup squad.
Australia World Cup Injuries
We will update you with injuries regularly.
Related: World Cup Stadiums
The Unanswered Questions
Who will score the goals?
Australia create a lot of chances but don’t convert enough. Tomi Juric has done a reasonable job, while Jamie Maclaren could be a contender.
Will the back three be discarded?
The new system leaked goals initially, although the return of Mile Jedinak helped provide more security. It’s a risky tactic against the top teams in the world, although strangely it worked best in the Confederations Cup against the South American champions, Chile.
Will Tom Rogic be able to justify his reputation in Russia?
Alongside Aaron Mooy, Rogic is Australia’s most gifted performer, but he has been inconsistent for his country.
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