Football History Fridays: Socceroos’ 2005 Confederations Cup Campaign

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The Socceroos may have gone home early from the 2017 edition of the Confederations Cup but the intercontinental action doesn’t end there.

Today we’ll look at the Socceroos’ third and final appearance as champions of Oceania.

Key Players

John Aloisi, Mark Viduka, Mark Schwarzer

Group Stage

Where stoic defensive displays and never say die attitudes had led the Roos to some memorable upsets during the previous two tournaments, 2005 was anti-climactic to say the least. There were plenty of goals scored but some horrendous defending ensured Australia would go home without a point for the first time. An exhilarating 4-3 loss to hosts Germany in their opening match gave fans some hope and despite fighting back from 3-nil down, their match against Argentina ended in a 4-2 defeat.

African champions Tunisia, also winless, lay in wait in Leipzig but a bitterly disappointing 2-0 loss undid any of goodwill the Roos had earned in their ‘honourable’ losses against two of the biggest names in world football. Five goals for and ten against made for ugly reading and would have severe ramifications for the Roos’ camp.

Legacy

Coach Frank Farina, who had been at the helm since 1998, was the most high-profile casualty of the Socceroos’ disappointing showing. His sacking opened the door for Guus Hiddink who of course needs no introduction. Neither does what happened next for the green and gold as they used the disappointment as fuel for qualifying for their first World Cup since 1974.

Interestingly, but perhaps not a surprise, while the Socceroos’ previous two Confederations Cup campaigns had been deemed a success they had failed in subsequent World Cup playoffs. Could the poor showing in Germany and change of leadership have forced the side into taking a look in the mirror and finally delivering the performance that so many Australians had craved for three decades?

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Dominic Unwin
Third year Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Interests include sports history and stats...you know, all the fun stuff.
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