Australia plays Denmark for last 16 spot at World Cup
Australia’s goalkeeper Tim Pimblett and midfielders David Carney and Matt McKay were among the stand-by players named in the 15-man squad that will start the tournament on Tuesday. (AFP)
AFP, TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Originally published on January 14, 2014 8:33 am
Australia has never advanced past the group stage of any world championship tournament. And in doing so, the team played its best football so far.
Since its very first World Cup appearance in 1930, when Australia faced Argentina in a meaningless friendly, it has never advanced even to the quarterfinals once.
“We’ve got a very good starting team,” coach Ange Postecoglou said. “We would be disappointed if we didn’t finish the job.”
In the round-robin group stage, Australia finished third of four teams and, at the last World Cup in Germany in 2006, it was the lowest-ranked team.
The team is hoping to win its first major tournament since the 2007 Under-17 World Cup, when Australia lost all three of its games.
Ange Postecoglou has used a high number of standby players for each game. The coach said the decision was a matter of keeping the side fresh in case the team suffered a poor performance. (AFP)
“We’ve got a good enough starting 11 to make it to the quarterfinal,” Postecoglou said.
The coach has employed a high number of standby players for each game.
Pimblett, 28, has faced his opposition in four of the six World Cup games, making four saves in the first half.
He returned to England after the World Cup in Brazil, where he was part of the British Lions squad that won the tournament for the first time. The defender spent the offseason with Sydney’s Bunnies and is training with the Australian men’s Under-20 team in England this month.
“It’s been a while since we’ve come close,” Postecoglou said. “But we are still going to make it back here,” he