World Cup Group B Team Profile: Australia

By Sarad Bade Shrestha  |  May 23, 2014
World Cup Group B Team Profile: Australia

For a sport crazy nation such as Australia, the standard of football has not developed as well as one would expect. The Socceroos made a very good impression during the 2006 World Cup but do not seem to have progressed much at international level since.

While the level of Australia’s A-League has certainly improved over the years, the national team is still not doing as well as they should.

Australia labored through their qualification campaign under former manager Holger Osieck, where poor results against the likes of Jordan and Oman had been deemed unacceptable.

Following consecutive 6-0 losses at the hands of Brazil and France, the Australian FA had run out of patience and duly dispensed with the services of the 65-year old.

World Ranking

59

World Cup appearances

4

Best finish

Round 2 (2006)

Leading World Cup Scorer

Tim Cahill – 3

 

Getting rid of a manager who guided the team to the World Cup does not always seem a wise decision but Australia did not seem to be making any real progress under Osieck.

Now, Ange Postecoglou has been handed the reins and although the 48-year old has overseen only 2 games, he certainly has made some drastic changes to the setup of the national team.

Placed in a group consisting of defending champions Spain, Netherlands and Chile, it would take a minor miracle for the Socceroos to make it past the group stages of the World Cup.

Postecoglou certainly has a tough job on his hands in Brazil but if he is to prove that he is the right man to take Australian football forward, a good tournament will be of paramount importance.

Manager

Ange Postecoglou

ange

Despite leading Australia to the World Cup, Holger Osieck was sacked from his duties as manager and the man chosen to replace the veteran German was local coach Ange Postecoglou.

Postecoglou was certainly a popular choice among the people in Australia and the 48-year old seems to have already made a positive impact to the National team. The biggest criticism under Osieck’s reign was that he did not give youth much of a chance and it was believed to have been a major contributor for his sacking.

However, Postecoglou is a man who certainly has his eyes on the future and young stars such as Tom Rogic can surely flourish under him. That being said, Postecoglou has kept the experienced core of the team in the form of Tim Cahill, Mark Bresciano and Mile Jedinak intact and is aware that in a tough group, experienced heads are very important.

Born in Athens, Postecoglou moved to Australia at the age of five and went on to represent the Socceroos national team on four occasions. As a manager, the 48-year old has enjoyed success with South Melbourne, Brisbane Roar as well as the Australian under-20 side.

The World Cup is certainly a big opportunity for Postecoglou and even if his side do not make it past their group, he will be desperate to make a good impression at the biggest stage in world football.

History in the Tournament

Australia

Australia made it into the Round of 16 during the 2006 World Cup in Germany

Year

Round

Position

England 1966

Did not qualify

NA

Mexico 1970

Did not qualify

NA

West Germany 1974

Group Stage

14th

Argentina 1978

Did not qualify

NA

Spain 1982

Did not qualify

NA

Mexico 1986

Did not qualify

NA

Italy 1990

Did not qualify

NA

United States 1994

Did not qualify

NA

France 1998

Did not qualify

NA

South Korea/Japan 2002

Did not qualify

NA

Germany 2006

Round of 16

16th

South Africa 2010

Group stage

21st

 

Road To Brazil

Teams

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

Japan

8

5

2

1

16

5

+11

17

Australia

8

3

4

2

12

7

+5

13

Jordan

8

3

1

4

7

16

-9

10

Oman

8

2

3

3

7

10

-3

9

Iraq

8

1

2

5

4

8

-4

5

 

Date

Fixture

Round

Jun 8

Oman 0-0 Australia

AFC (2014 Round Four)

Jun 12

Australia 1-1 Japan

AFC (2014 Round Four)

Sep 11

Jordan 2-1 Australia

AFC (2014 Round Four)

Oct 16

Iraq 1-2 Australia

AFC (2014 Round Four)

Mar 26

Australia 2-2 Oman

AFC (2014 Round Four)

Jun 4

Japan 1-1 Australia

AFC (2014 Round Four)

Jun 11

Australia 4-0 Jordan

AFC (2014 Round Four)

Jun 18

Australia 1-0 Iraq

AFC (2014 Round Four)

               

Squad List

Goalkeepers: Mark Birighitti, (Newcastle Jets), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge).

Defenders: Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo), Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar), Curtis Good (Newcastle United), Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng), Matthew Spiranovic, (Western Sydney Wanderers), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow), Bailey Wright (Preston North End)

Midfielders: Oliver Bozanic (Luzern), Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa), Joshua Brilliante (Newcastle Jets), James Holland (Austria Wien), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town), Matthew McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Tommy Oar (Utrecht), Tommy Rogic (Melbourne Victory), Adam Sarota (Utrecht), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory), Dario Vidosic (Sion)

Attackers: Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Ben Halloran (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus), Matthew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets)

Expectation

Aus fans

Up against the likes of Chile, Netherlands and Spain, Australia’s chances of making it into the knock-out phase is slim to say the least. However, the Socceroos will surely make it tough for their much more illustrious counterparts and will surely not lie down without a fight.

There have been upsets in the World Cup before and Australia must embrace the underdog tag and give it a right go.

Fixtures

Date

Fixture

Venue

Timings (BST)

13 Jun 2014

Chile v Australia

Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá

23:00

18 Jun 2014

Australia v Netherlands

Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre

17:00

23 June 2014

Australia v Spain

Arena da Baixada, Curitiba

17:00

 

World Cup Profiles –

Group A – BrazilCroatiaMexicoCameroon

Group B –  SpainNetherlandsChileAustralia

Group C – ColombiaGreece, Ivory Coast, Japan

Group D – UruguayCosta RicaEnglandItaly

Group E – SwitzerlandEcuadorFranceHonduras

Group F – ArgentinaBosnia & HerzegovinaIran,  Nigeria

Group G – GermanyPortugal, GhanaUnited States

Group H – Belgium, AlgeriaRussiaSouth Korea

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