Brazil swamped Australia 6-0 in the 1997 Confederations Cup with the Brazilian ace Ronaldo and Romario scoring three goals apiece. But the Socceroos had revenge of sorts ekeing out a 1-0 win over the same Brazil with Shuan Murphy netting the winner.
Switching over from Oceania to Asia in 2006, Australia have gone from strength to strength in World soccer and caused quite a sensation in the 2006 World Cup in Germany going down by a controversial penalty to eventual winners Italy in the quarter-finals. They made it to the World Cup final rounds in 2010 and 2014 as well.
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This will be their fourth Confederations Cup foray having played in 1997, 2001 and 2005. Clubbed with African champions Cameroon, South American title holders Chile and World Cup winners Germany, the Asian champs have their task cut out.
Coach Ange Postecoglou, a Greek settled Down under since long, has the advantage of having many players with playing experience in European leagues. That should stand them in good stead in the face of quality opposition.
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Goalkeepers Mitchell Langerak (Stuttgart), Mathew Ryan (Genk), defenders Trent Sainsbury (Inter Milan), Brad Smith (Bournemouth), Bailey Wright (Bristol City)
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midfielders Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Tom Rogic (Celtic) and forwards Tomi Juric (Luzern), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Jamie McLaren (Darmstadt), led by Melbourne City’s talismanic striker Tim Cahill, the Aussies have enough ammunition to fire.
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Many haven’t made the headlines but have contributed effectively to their respective club’s progress. Endowed with good physique, the Australians are as good in the air as they are on the ground.
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Playing an attacking game all along, the green and yellows can trouble the best of defenses and figure among the top two. The Confederations Cup has often seen fine showings from unexpected quarters. Those from Down Under can well be the surprise packet.
Goalkeepers: Mitchell Langerak (Stuttgart/Germany), Mathew Ryan (Genk/Belgium), Daniel Vukovic (Sydney FC)
Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor/Turkey), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F Marinos/Japan), Dylan McGowan (Pacos de Ferreira/Portugal), Ryan McGowan (GuizhouZhicheng/China PR), Trent Sainsbury (Inter Milan/Italy), Brad Smith (Bournemouth/England), Bailey Wright (Bristol City/England)
Midfielders: Ajdin Hrustic (Groningen/Netherlands), Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion/England), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa/England), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers/England), Mark Milligan (Bani Yas/United Arab Emirates), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town/England), Tom Rogic (Celtic/Scotland)
Forwards: Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (Luzern/Switzerland), Robbie Kruse (uncontracted), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin/Germany), Jamie McLaren (Darmstadt/Germany), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory).
Coach: Ange Postecoglou.
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