30 May - 10 June, 2001   Copa Confederaciones    

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Australia: a welcome get-together

Mark Viduka and Josip Skoko of Australia celebrate their second goal during their friendly soccer match in Budapest February 23. Australia won 3-0.
Photo: Laszlo Balogh, Reuters
The way in which Australia's national team is perceived is indicative of the difficult underlying conditions it has to face. In 2000 Australia caught the eye largely as a result of victories achieved a long way from home such as the 3-0 win over Hungary in Budapest early on in the year and a sensational 2-0 triumph against Scotland at Glasgow's Hampden Park in November. In contrast, the victory in the competition that earned the "Socceroos" their ticket to the FIFA Confederations Cup 2001 hardly gained a mention outside Oceania's football community.

Manchester United Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich fights with Tamas Bodog of Hungary during their friendly soccer match in Budapest, February 23. Australia won 3-0.
Photo: STR, Reuters
For Australia, winning in the Oceania Nations Cup and the regional World Cup qualifiers has been an absolute must for many years, an obligation they meet with great accomplishment almost without exception. Which goes part of the way to explaining the grounds for the detrimental situation forever being lamented about by Soccer Australia - not enough competitive matches to allow Australia to establish themselves amongst the leading nations in the long term and an ensemble of stars that would be far easier to manage from London than Canberra, which for the best Australian players is a city far away. The Aussies know what they talking about all too well. The road to the World Cup Finals for the Oceania qualifiers always leads to a play-off against a representative from another continent. In 1997 the Australians were little more than 15 minutes away from qualifying for France 98 until two goals by Iran left them in a state of shock at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Australian striker Paul Agostino (L) holds off a challenge from Scotland's defender David Weir (R) during their international friendly soccer at Hampden Park in Glasgow November 15, 2000.
Photo: STR, Reuters
The FIFA Confederations Cup is therefore held in high esteem by the players under team coach Frank Farina, himself a former international, having played in France and Belgium. And the "Socceroos" have fond memories of the first competition staged by FIFA in 1997. In Riyadh they held Brazil to a scoreless draw in the preliminary group before making their way to the final, only to bow out to the superior skills of Ronaldo and Romario. At the tournament in Korea and Japan Farina should be able to draw upon his best players, which is seldom the case. These include giant striker Mark Viduka and his club colleague Harry Kewell (Leeds United), keeper Mark Bosnich (relegated to the No.2 spot at Manchester United behind Fabien Barthez), Paul Agostino (one of the leading scorers in the Bundesliga at 1860 Munich) and Tony Vidmar (Glasgow Rangers), amongst others.

Pos   Popular Name   Shirt Name Club D.O.B.
[ 1]   GK   SCHWARZER Mark   SCHWARZER   Middlesbrough (ENG) 06-Oct-72
[ 2]   DF   MUSCAT Kevin   MUSCAT   Wolverhampton Wanderers (ENG) 07-Aug-73
[ 3]   DF   MOORE Craig   MOORE   Glasgow Rangers (SCO) 12-Dec-75
[ 4]   MF   OKON Paul   OKON   Middlesbrough (ENG) 05-Apr-72
[ 5]   DF   VIDMAR Tony   VIDMAR   Glasgow Rangers (SCO) 04-Jul-70
[ 6]   DF   POPOVIC Tony   POPOVIC   Sanfrecce Hiroshima (JPN) 04-Jul-73
[ 7]   MF   SKOKO Josip   SKOKO   Racing Genk (BEL) 10-Dec-75
[ 8]   MF   LAZARIDIS Stan   LAZARIDIS   Birmingham City (ENG) 16-Aug-72
[ 9]   FW   ALOISI John   ALOISI   Coventry City (ENG) 05-Feb-76
[10]   MF   EMERTON Brett   EMERTON   Feyenoord Rotterdam (NED) 22-Feb-79
[11]   FW   ZDRILIC David   ZDRILIC   Unterhaching (GER) 13-Apr-74
[12]   GK   BOLTON Clint   BOLTON   Sydney Olympic 22-Aug-75
[13]   MF   BRESCIANO Marco   BRESCIANO   Empoli (ITA) 11-Feb-80
[14]   MF   MURPHY Shaun   MURPHY   Sheffield Utd. (ENG) 05-Nov-70
[15]   DF   FOXE Hayden   FOXE   West Ham Utd. (ENG) 23-Jun-77
[16]   DF   HORVAT Steve   HORVAT   Melbourne Knights 03-Apr-71
[17]   MF   CORICA Steve   CORICA   Sanfrecce Hiroshima (JPN) 24-Mar-73
[18]   MF   CHIPPERFIELD Scott   CHIPPERFIELD   Wollongong Wolves 30-Dec-75
[19]   MF   VIDMAR Aurelio   VIDMAR   Adelaide Force 03-Feb-67
[20]   FW   ZANE Clayton   ZANE   Lillestroem (NOR) 12-Jul-77
[21]   MF   THOMPSON Archie   THOMPSON   Marconi 23-Oct-78
[22]   FW   STERJOVSKI Mile   STERJOVSKI   Lille (FRA) 27-May-79
[23]   GK   JURIC Frank   JURIC   Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 28-Oct-73

 x-France 3 2 0 1 9:1 6
 x-Australia 3 2 0 1 3:1 6
 Korea Republic 3 2 0 1 3:6 6
 Mexico 3 0 0 3 1:8 0
30-05-01   [2] Suwon, Korea 19:30 Mexico vs. Australia 0:2 (0:1) TANGAWARIMA Felix, ZIM
01-06-01   [5] Daegu, Korea 17:00 Australia vs. France 1:0 (0:0) BATRES Carlos, GUA
03-06-01   [10] Suwon, Korea 19:30 Korea Republic vs. Australia 1:0 (1:0) RUIZ Oscar Julian, COL

07-06-01   [13] Yokohama, Japan 17:00 Japan vs. Australia 1:0 (1:0) ARCHUNDIA Benito, MEX
Third Place Match
09-06-01   [15] Ulsan, Korea 19:00 Australia vs. Brazil 1:0 (0:0) KRUG Hellmut, GER

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