Wild scenes on a cold Wednesday morning in Melbourne has shown once again the incredible power of the World Cup.
Plus why the Socceroos’ path to the knockout stage is simpler than you think, despite their 4-1 loss to France.
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MOMENT OF AUSSIE FAN MADNESS STUNS WORLD
Anyone who says we aren’t a football-loving nation needs to watch the scenes from Melbourne’s Federation Square on Wednesday morning.
A packed crowd of Socceroos diehards filled the meeting space in the CBD from before 6am, watching the game against France on the big screen.
And when Craig Goodwin scored his wonder goal to put the Aussies ahead of the reigning champs, pandemonium ensued.
In one word: limbs.
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SOCCEROOS’ CLEAR PATH TO KNOCKOUTS REMAINS
While Australia certainly isn’t favoured to make it out of Group D, the draw between Denmark and Tunisia earlier on Wednesday morning ensures there’s a chance.
In previous World Cups the Socceroos have almost been knocked out by the time the first matchday ends – that’s because in 2010, 2014 and 2018, they lost their opening match while the second group game also saw a winner, putting the Aussies on 0 points and two sides on 3.
Most notably in South Africa, the Socceroos’ 4-0 loss to Germany destroyed their goal difference, which eventually saw them miss second place on the tiebreaker to Ghana.
But this time, with what should be Australia’s hardest game out of the way, they sit on 0 points but with the Danes and Tunisians on 1 point each.
Those opponents were always going to be the more likely candidates for Aussie points, and so if the Socceroos can pinch a win and a draw in their last two group games, they have a real shot of finishing second behind France.
Matchday 2: Australia beats Tunisia, France beats or draws with Denmark
Matchday 3: Australia draws (or better) with Denmark, France beats Tunisia
Result: France 1st, Australia 2nd
Of course, Tunisia looked pretty dangerous against Denmark, so we’re not saying the match against our North African rivals will be easy. But it’s the most winnable of the three, and if the Aussies can’t beat Tunisia then they don’t deserve to make it out of the group anyway.