Australia may not have entered the 2014 World Cup as one of the favorites, but they do sport a fun, exciting team that is very reflective of the Aussie competitive spirit. While rugby and especially Australian Rules Football or “footy” are the main sports in Australia, their national football team been around for over 90 years with varying degrees of success.
This has meant that football has taken a back seat to the other sports in Australia, but it is not one that is completely overlooked. Australians have a real pride of competition and much is expected from the 2014 World Cup team.
The Socceroos are listed at 500/1 to win the World Cup. One reason for their long odds are that they’re going up against Spain, Holland and Chile in the group stage. With such great competition, the odds on Australia to win the group are incredible. If you bet $100 on Aussie’s to win Group B, and they do, you would win $3,300 at most online bookmakers. Not bad!
Australia’s Best World Cup Bet
The Australians open the World Cup against Chile on Friday the 13th (which isn’t exactly the best date). All superstition aside, if you like the Socceroos and you expect them to win at least one World Cup match, this could very well be your best bet. Expectations are low, so the odds that you are getting to wager on Australia to win here are very good. And if the Aussies do win, you probably won’t be able to odds this good again even against team that are much tougher than Chile. This is way we think betting Australia to win it’s first World Cup match in their best bet in the 2014 World Cup.
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The History of the Australian National Football Team
The first Australian national team was formed in 1922 and made a tour of New Zealand where they lost two and drew once in their three games. Over the next 36 years, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa made regular tours and played matches against each other, save for World War II. Also in the pre-World War II years, the Australian team competed against India and Canada as well.
The first real presence of Australia on the world football scene occurred in 1956 when the city of Melbourne hosted the Olympics. However, the team did not do well at all and most people regarded the Australian national team as a good bunch of players that were simply not ready for the world stage. The main reason was the geographic isolation of Australia which prevented them from playing a robust schedule until air fares became much more reasonable.
It was not until 1974 that Australia made its first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in West Germany and was promptly eliminated in the first round without having won a game. It would be another three decades before the Australian team would qualify again. During this time, their one bit of shining glory was defeating the defending World Cup champions Argentina in 1988.
The Australian team once again qualified for the World Cup in 2006 and once again it was in Germany. Qualifying for the World Cup proved an arduous task as they had to defeat numerous solid teams and managed to win their final play-off against powerful Uruguay when they won the game on penalty kicks, becoming the first team ever to get into the World Cup based on penalty kicks.
Although they barely made it into the 2006 World Cup, they performed quite well by beating Japan in the opening match and scoring their first goals ever in World Cup competition. However, despite playing much better than ever before, they still did not get out of the first round when they were defeated by Italy 1 – 0 off controversial circumstances. Still, it was an admirable performance by the team.
Australia qualified for their third World Cup appearance in 2010 and unfortunately drew into a group consisting of Ghana, Serbia and Germany. They managed to draw against Ghana and defeat Serbia, but getting smashed by Germany once again ended their run in the first group.
For the 2014 World Cup, Australia managed to finish as “runners-up” in their particular group and making the qualifications. However, it was no easy ride as they had to make a comeback win against Thailand and then lost to Oman in the opening stages which put them in a hole. However, they ultimately made it out of the first round and then drew against Japan and Oman before losing to Jordan.
Being back on their heels, the team had to rally with a win over Iraq before managing two more draws and ultimately defeating Jordan 4 – 0 that put them right on the edge of qualification. Another victory over Iraq as substitute Josh Kennedy managed to score late in the game sealed the win and their place in the 2014 World Cup.
However, their manager Holger Osieck was sacked after a four year run when his team was destroyed by both Brazil and France 6 – 0 in friendly competition and a new change in leadership will be present for the Australian team when they arrive at the World Cup in Brazil.
The 2014 Australian World Cup Team
The Australians have drawn into Group B for the World Cup along with the Netherlands, Chile and Spain which will once again make this a tough series of matches for them to get past.
The star of the 2014 Australian national team is Tim Cahill, a remarkably versatile player with an offensive mindset. Cahill has a very impressive goal ratio for a midfielder and has a surprising ability to head the ball in despite his rather average height. His talent and versatility in terms of the offense will be needed for Australia to succeed.
Lucas Ness returns as the leader of the team having served admirably in the 2010 World Cup. Ness is a very consistent player and considered the bedrock of the team’s chances of success. This is because Ness never waivers and never gives up, which has helped keep the Australian team together during their past run.
Finally, another player to keep an eye on is Brett Holman who has helped to elevate the team considerably since he first joined. An excellent midfielder with remarkable versatility and passing game, Holman may be the key for Australia to finally get past the first round of competition.
There is little doubt that Australia will be hard pressed to get out of the first round of competition thanks to their struggles in qualifying and less than impressive World Cup history. However, they are a rugged, tough team with the talent to score when needed which makes them a very dangerous opponent to overlook.
Add to this the desire to make it further into the World Cup and this team may be a surprise dark horse to get into the latter rounds. While the chances of the team actually winning the World Cup may be slim, stranger things have certainly happened and there is no question that the Australians have the talent, drive and motivation to do quite well in the 2014 World Cup.