A League FIFA World Cup Football Socceroos Uncategorized

Socceroos over Aloisi in the 2005 Qualification game

It’s one of the biggest and most important games in the history of Australian Football. That memorable game against Uruguay that sent Australia to the World Cup in 2006, and the man that everyone credits for this moment, is Western a United manager John Aloisi, but he is not the hero everyone thinks he is, he just scored a penalty. The real hero on the night was non other than Mark Schwarzer with a close second being Tony Vidmar.

But it was more than just the Aloisi final penalty that the Aussies should remember. Yes it was a great moment, but anyone would have buried that penalty in that moment……except maybe Viduka who missed the previous pen. Kewell, Neil and Vidmar got the shootout off to a flyer with the 1st 3 all scored and any of them could’ve been the final taker. Viduka’s miss to make it 3-3 going down to the last Penalties could’ve been the winner, but the legendary Striker narrowly put it wide. Uruguayan keeper Fabian Carini had guessed the right way and probably would saved it regardless.

Photo Courtesy of Fox Sports

This game was more than just a penalty shootout. There was 210 minutes played over 2 matches. A solid effort in Montevideo saw the Socceroos bring home and impressive 1-0 defeat, a result and performance that ensured a home game with a chance to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1974. In the second leg of the Playoff, a genius sub just 30 minutes in from Manager Guus Hiddink was the catalyst for Australia levelling the score. Harry Kewell came on for a clearly fired up Tony Popovic. Not long after that a brilliant team goal scored by Marl Bresciano after a Harry Kewell muffed shot would send the 82k plus people into hysterics. One of the most important goals in Australian Football History.

Tony Vidmars performance over the 2 legs was also a huge contribution to the qualification. He was solid at the back as well as making some key passes to teammates to try and create goals, but his solid marking and physical tackling in the 2nd leg was crucial to the Aussies holding onto the 1-0 goal lead in the second leg. But of course we all know what happened in those games, we’ve all probably seen the game a heap of times.

Photo Credit Getty Images

The true hero for Australia in this Play-off wasn’t Aloisi, it was and always has been Mark Schwarzer, Australia’s best number 1. 2 penalty saves in the shootout, amazing saves during both matches, He truly was Australia’s World Cup hero. Not only those 2 heroic saves in the shootout, he almost got to a third which would have truly been an amazing performance. John Aloisi scored a very important penalty for this Countries football history. But to see every time he is mentioned it along with “World Cup Hero” is a slap in the face to the true hero of that game. And also to the 11 players who started that second leg, kept Australia in it and forced a penalty shootout.

Every time Mark Schwarzer’s name is mentioned moving forward should be included with Australia’s Actual World Cup hero.

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