In a sport that stops the world the Socceroos on Wednesday night qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. What a incredible achievement for Australia to be one of only 32 teams at the biggest sporting event on earth, considering 207 other participants have all tried to qualify over the last two years. Think about that for a minute some 175 other FIFA recognised nations will be sitting at home and pondering over spilt milk. Italy is one just example of this devastation.
What a night though in Sydney as 77 thousand packed stadium Australia and a further 2.1 million tuned in on the idiot box to watch the mighty Socceroos get the chocolates 3-1 over a passionate Honduras. After a gruelling nil all result away from home in front of a hostile and shocking water logged pitch the game was perfectly set up for the return home leg.
The game copped a bit of backlash from the uneducated biased anti soccer media after a nill all result and of course that 900k plane flight home, but to be fair FIFA kicked in 200k on travel and to fly a squad the size of the Socceroos business class would be approx 600k so what’s the problem . Oh yeah we also just got paid 15 million bucks from FIFA for qualifying in a tournament that will have over a billion eyes around the globe tuning in on too. 900k to make 15million it’s a good bet! To tackle the nil all part well in a country that rewards points for missing the sticks that go to the moon, do we really care on their take on scoring. Maybe they should invest in a crossbar and some nets then their code might get out of the burbs.
But back to the game itself after a tense first half boy did the lads put on a second half display. With captain Socceroo Mile Jedinak leading the charge with three goals, they say one was a own goal but as one eyed passionate Aussies we know he scored all three and that our new beards look a treat. Got to love a bloke that looks like Ned Kelly and appears to be in beast mode for the full 90 minutes. A brilliant captain who came back from injury to help carry his boys across the line in the most heroic way. The second half really did see the Socceroos stand tall and run over the top of a exhausted Honduras, maybe that flight and space aged glasses we saw the boys wear on the plane had something to do with it , probably not but hey the Socceroos did look cool.
On another positive for the game in Australia, data came out during the week from the Australian sports commission that Soccer is the most participated club sport in Australia some 1.1million adults and kids play the beautiful game, 500k more than AFL and twice that of Cricket. This is only going to see the sport explode even more in 2018 with the Socceroos qualifying for Russia. Clubs in Australia are already having to turn kids away from the game as the clubs burst at capacity, Adelaide City is one example turning away some 220 kids recently as it just couldn’t cater for all. A great problem to have I guess and a brilliant problem to try and solve over the coming years.
So Socceroos fans what a week, the sport is on the rise the code is bigger and stronger that it ever has been and we the World Game fans like the kangaroo can never take a step backwards its full forward to Russia and full forward to making this game the greatest show in Australia, the World has already been conquered.Google+