Australia keep World Cup hopes alive


Australia had not played a more important World Cup qualifier since November 16, 2005, when they took on Uruguay in a play off game at the ANZ stadium in Sydney.

It was on that night that John Aloisi scored the the winner of the penalty Shootout that would send Australia to the 2006 Fifa World Cup after brilliant saves from Mark Schwarzer.

Though in this year's qualifying campaign, they left themselves in a bit of trouble after a run of poor results, leading to the importance of the game against Jordan on a fateful night in Melbourne at the Etihad Stadium. 

Australia were under immense pressure playing at home in front of 43,785 hopeful supporters.

Questions were raised on whether they could cope with such high responsibilities, but the Socceroos exceeded expectations greatly when they put four goals past the visiting opposition and re captured second place after a very inspiring 4-0 win over a rather under-performing Jordan who actually defeated them 2-1 in their previous group game.

The first absolute roar of the Melbourne crowd came on 15 minutes as Mark Bresciano did well to tuck home a clever low cross from Robie Kruse. One of the most impactful players in the Australian team's histroy Tim Cahill scored the second goal on 61 minutes with a brilliant header after Kruse appeared once again to assist him. 

Kruse then wen on to score a goal himself on 76 minutes after turning around a challenge brilliantly and smashing the ball off Jordanian goalkeeper Shafi and into the net. On 86 minutes another talking point as Captain Lucas Neill finished Australia's glorious night when he scored his first ever goal for his country, and what a game to do that in.

The work is not yet done for the Socceroos, they have just one game left against Iraq in sydney on tuesday, but with the confidence they will have gained from this big win and being that Iraq are now eliminated from the World Cup, they may have taken their foot off the pedal and planned to use this game to experiment for future plans leaving the possibility for another big Australia win. 

Australia sit in second place and three points on tuesday will guarantee them passage to Brazil and avoid the dreaded third spot for a playoff against third from group B and then another two games against one of the very talented South American sides which would once again be Uruguay as things is South American qualifying stand. 

Australia could still be safe from that predicament with a loss, but only if Oman don't beat Jordan when they meet in their final game for both teams which will determine who gets that third spot which will be the only one available if Australia do win.

It is looking very good for Australia, 90 more minutes of anxious waiting to discover their fate. It is all in their hands.


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