The Australian national soccer team represents Australia in international men’s soccer and officially nicknamed the Socceroos, the team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006.
Australia is the only national team to have been a champion of two confederations, having won the OFC Nations Cup four times between 1980 and 2004, as well as the AFC Asian Cup at the 2015 event on home soil. The team has represented Australia at the FIFA World Cup tournament on five occasions, in 1974 and from 2006 to 2018. The team has also represented Australia at the FIFA Confederations Cup four times.
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
Following the Asian Cup triumph, Australia went into the 2018 World Cup qualification, drawn in a group with Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh.
They began the qualifying group with an away match against Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek, where they achieved a 2–1 win. In their first home match of the campaign, they beat Bangladesh 5–0 at nib Stadium. After that, they played against Tajikistan in Dushanbe, winning 3–0 with Tim Cahill scoring a brace. They blotted their perfect record with a loss 2–0 to Jordan. However, they had managed a good comeback from behind, winning their last 4 matches in the group, including a 5–1 win against Jordan at home.
In the 3rd round of qualifying Australia was drawn in a group with Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq and Thailand. They started strongly with a 2–0 victory at home to Iraq in Perth in September 2016. Only days later they managed to triumph a strong UAE side away from home resulting in a 0–1 win putting them top of the group. This was followed by four consecutive draws against Saudi Arabia, Japan, Thailand and Iraq. Next were two home wins against UAE and Saudi Arabia, with the latter win consolidating Australia’s position of 3rd in Group B. Their next game against Japan conceded in a 2–0 defeat keeping their 3rd position behind Japan and Saudi Arabia. They then went on to defeat Thailand 2–1 at AAMI Park, however Saudi Arabia later beat group-leaders Japan 1–0 in Saudi Arabia to secure automatic qualification to Russia, leaving Australia in 3rd place due to a better goal-difference. Australia then beat Syria in the AFC play-offs.
Australia drew 0–0 in the inter-confederation play-offs against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on 10 November 2017, which meant for the second time, Australia didn’t lose their away match in an inter-confederation playoff. In the second leg, on 15 November at Stadium Australia, Australia beat Honduras 3–1 thanks to a hat-trick by captain Mile Jedinak. Honduras’ only goal was scored by Alberth Elis during injury time of the second half.
After Australia qualified for the world cup, Ange Postecoglou resigned from his position as coach of the team.
Mark Schwarzer holds the record for most Australia appearances with 109. Tim Cahill is second place with 104 caps, followed by Lucas Neill with 96 caps and Brett Emerton with 95 caps
Tim Cahill is Australia’s highest goalscorer, with 50 goals since his first appearance for Australia in March 2004. Damian Mori (29 goals) and Archie Thompson (28 goals) complete the top three
Australia currently hold the world record for the largest win and the most goals scored by a player in an international match. Both records were achieved during the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification match against American Samoa on 11 April 2001. Australia won 31–0 with Archie Thompson scoring 13 goals and David Zdrilic scoring 8. Two days before the 31–0 win, Australia broke the record for largest win with a 22–0 win over Tonga. With 13 and 8 goals respectively, both Thompson and Zdrilic broke the previous record jointly held by another Australian, Gary Cole, who scored seven goals against Fiji in 1981 and Iranian Karim Bagheri, who also scored seven goals against Maldives in 1997.