It has been a World Cup of surprises, with the minnows standing up to the plate and showing they are ready to mix it up with the big boys. No one had any idea what kind of tournament was in the offing, but a few top teams have learned their lessons the hard way.
Who would have given Saudi Arabia a chance against mighty Argentina? Who would have thought that Germany – a team brimming with talent would be shocked by Japan? It has been the tale of the World Cup in Qatar. It was against all odds that Qatar got the hosting rights for the tournament. Perhaps it is why it has been a World Cup for the minnows.
With the odds stacked heavily against them, the Socceroos have done what the world least expected of them. They have qualified for the round of 16, and it has given plenty of joy to the fans back home. The recent achievement of the Australian national team has given the team cause to dream.
Australia boss hails team’s achievement
Since the days of Mark Viduka and Tim Cahill, Australia has not featured on the football map. The Qatar 2022 World Cup has brought them back into reckoning. The qualification to the round of 16 has their head coach dreaming of another golden generation.
Australia picked six points in Group D as they finished behind France. Their qualification for the next round is worthy of celebrating as the Socceroos bucked the odds. Australia was supposed to complete the group, play its three matches and go home, but they surprised many people.
The head coach of the Australian national team Graham Arnold suggests that the Socceroos could be on to a new golden generation following their latest feat at the World Cup. Australia beat Denmark 1-0 on Wednesday to punch their ticket to the round of 16. Their qualification came despite the defending champions losing to Tunisia on the same night.
Arnold was a proud man at the end of the game. He praised the work ethic, commitment and fight his players put up. He had some nice things to say about Denmark, but it mattered little as the Danes, whose interests were more focused on politics, were bundled home.
Celebrations in Melbourne
Arnold understands the implications of their success in Qatar. Beaming with pride, he talked about what their achievement has done for football in Australia. The Socceroos achieved consecutive victories at the tournament for the first time. It is also the second time they progressed from the group stage in their six World Cup appearances.
Thousands of fans were at Federation Square in Melbourne to watch the game against Denmark. Arnold believes it highlights the impact of football in the country. Arnold compared it to Australia’s achievements in Cricket. He said even the Cricket World Cup did not elicit the kind of fans at the Federation Square.
Arnold concluded by saying he was proud that the team was able to put smiles on the faces of the Australian people. According to Arnold, perhaps it is time to start talking of a new golden generation.