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Australia World Cup history: Record, last appearance, best finish for Socceroos at FIFA tournament

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Australia secured one of the last places at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after beating Peru on penalties in an intercontinental playoff.

The Socceroos have now qualfied for every World Cup since 2006 and have become a regular fixture in the FIFA tournament. 

Officially part of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Australia rarely have an easy route to the World Cup and must punch above their weight once there. 

Ahead of the 2022 World Cup, The Sporting News looks back at the Socceroos previous appearances. 

Australia’s last World Cup appearance

The Socceroos qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after defeating Honduras 3-0 in a playoff tie. 

Australia were drawn in Group C for the tournament alongside France, Denmark and Peru. 

They took on eventual champions France first up, and despite equalising in the 62nd minute via Mile Jedinak, would end up losing 2-1 after conceding a late own-goal. 

The Socceroos played Denmark next and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with another Jedinak penalty securing the team a point after Christian Eriksen scored after just seven minutes. 

In Australia’s last group game against Peru, both teams needed Denmark to lose their final match to stand any chance of progressing bu the Danes drew 0-0 with France. 

Peru ended up beating the Socceroos 2-0 as Australia finished bottom of Group C with one point from three games. 

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Australia’s best World Cup campaign

The Socceroos have only ever progressed to the knockout stages of a World Cup once when they did so in 2006.

In their first appearance at the tournament since 1974 that was secured with a penalty shootout win against Uruguay, Australia were drawn in Group F alongside Brazil, Croatia and Japan. 

Needing a positive result first up, the Socceroos came from 1-0 down against Japan to win 3-1 after scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes. 

Australia were brought back down to earth somewhat against Brazil in a 2-0 loss but did keep a first-half clean sheet against the reigning champions. 

Croatia then awaited in the Socceroos’ final group game with the green and gold only needing a point to progress. 

A dramatic game saw Croatia twice take the lead only for Australia to equalise both times in a fiery 2-2 draw that saw Josip Simunic memorably handed three yellow cards. 

The Socceroos faced eventual champions Italy in the round of 16 and were beaten 1-0 courtesy of a controversial penalty converted by Francesco Totti in injury-time. 

Australia was adamant Lucas Neill’s challenge on Fabio Grosso wasn’t worthy of a spot-kick as their fine run ended on a sour note. 

What is Australia’s record at the World Cup?

Year Round Games Wins Draws Losses GF GA
1974 Group stage 3 0 1 2 0 5
2006 Round of 16 4 1 1 2 5 6
2010 Group stage 3 1 1 1 3 6
2014 Group stage 3 0 0 3 3 9
2018 Group stage 3 0 1 2 2 5

Credit: sportingnews.com

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