Australia’s against all odds victory over Denmark and the Socceroos’ subsequent progression into the next round of the World Cup may have come at around 4am on the east coast, but that didn’t dampen energy levels with wild scenes in Federation Square.
The Melbourne landmark, opposite Flinders St Station, has become the go-to place for alfresco football action.
Thousands packed into watch the big screen despite the 2am kick off.
It was tense in the first half in the 12C Melbourne night as neither side could make any headway. And Tunisia’s 3.15am goal to take the lead against France – and potentially deny Australia a place in the second round – was in danger of demoralising spirits.
But Mathew Leckie’s stunner of a goal at 3.30am predictably sent the Fed Square crowd into a frenzy.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was watching, tweeting “not long now” as the seconds ticked down.
It didn’t take long for the final whistle and Australia’s momentous 1-0 win against Denmark sent a deafening roar across the Melbourne CBD at 4am as fireworks were lit in Fed Square.
The Socceroos tweeted out an image on the good natured bedlam.
“Absolute scenes,” someone simply tweeted. “Absolute chaos,” said another.
“Of all of the special things the Socceroos have done at the World Cup, the best for mine is the inspiring scenes at Fed Square,” said one person on Twitter
“So cathartic to see in this city after the last few years.”
Fans won’t have two wait long for the next Fed Square footy festival.
The win against Denmark puts Australia second place in Group D – the Socceroos’ best ever group stage effort in six World Cups.
Australia will play in the second round for just the second time ever, with a date with Messi’s Argentina a strong possibility depending on results in the 6am games.
If Messi’s men defeat Poland they’ll finish top of Group C and be Australia’s date. But the Poles and Saudi Arabia are also still in contention to top the group so we’ll have to wait until 8am (AEDT) to know our opponent.
Story Credit: news.com.au