The South West Voice in Macarthur is a bit of a sucker for our national sporting teams.
From the Kangaroos to Socceroos and Wallabies, Kookaburras to Boomers, we love them all.
These days there’s even more to follow and like because our national women’s teams in the various sports and football codes are, naturally, also very competitive.
We’re as proud of the Matildas, the Jillaroos, the Diamonds, the Southern Stars, Opals and Hockeyroos as any of our men’s side.
The more the merrier as far as we’re concerned.
When it comes to national sporting teams, nobody does it better than Australia.
Now the soccer World Cup is on in Russia from tonight and the Socceroos will hold our attention for a while.
The Socceroos, like other national teams, punch above their weight, but the true believers never rule out one day going all the way to win the biggest football trophy of all.
In their honour, we dedicate Top 5 to our favourite Socceroo World Cup moments:
Number 1. In 2006 the Socceroos smashed Japan 3-1 in their opening game, thanks mainly to a very young Timmy Cahill, and went on to make the round of 16, our very best effort ever. We would have made the quarter finals in Germany except for a dodgy penalty for Italy in the dying stages of the heartbreaking 1-0 loss.
Number 2. Actually this goes to the game we won to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. We were there at ANZ in November 2005 when John Aloisi kicked the penalty in the shootout and 95,000 fans went mad. Never saw anything like it before or after.
Number 3. Nine years earlier Australia needed a 0-0 draw against Iran in Melbourne to qualify for the 1998 World Cup in France. In the first half we scored two goals but missed about four other relatively easy chances. After some madman ran on to the pitch and interrupted the second half, the Iranians snuck in two goals for a 2-2 draw and it felt like someone had died. It was a very, very long drive back to Sydney.
Number 4. In Brazil in 2014, Australia took a brand new team and a new coach, but almost beat Holland in the group stage. The Dutch finished third in the tournament but Tim Cahill and the young Aussies made them look ordinary for 90 minutes of one of the standout matches of that tournament.
Number 5. Our first World Cup, Germany, 1974. Experts predicted we’d be humiliated, but as usual our boys stood up, getting a 0-0 draw with Chile and losing 2-0 to East Germany and 3-0 to West Germany. The games were shown live on black and white TV – colour was finally introduced in 1975!