The sporting world has praised the Socceroos after a heroic effort against a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina in the round of 16 at the Qatar World Cup. The Socceroos were knocked out of the Qatar World Cup after Argentina scraped home 2-1 against a stoic Aussie team.
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Messi opened the scoring after a beautiful passing play, which saw him collect the ball just inside the box and slide the ball past Australian captain Mat Ryan in goal. While Australia toiled away and remained in the match, disaster struck for the Socceroos just after half-time.
The Socceroos were opting to play the ball out from the back when it was passed back to Ryan. Instead of booting the ball long, Ryan attempted to dribble past the on-rushing Argentinian forwards. Ryan was caught in possession, which rewarded striker Julian Alvarez an easy tap-in to give Argentina a pivotal 2-0 lead.
The Socceroos showed their trademark grit which has resulted in them making the round of 16 fore the first time since 2006. Craig Goodwin came on and sparked an on-goal in the 77th minutes after he launched a wild shot from outside the box. While it was going wide, it took a wicked deflection off Enzo Fernandez and skipped past the keeper and into the net.
In the dying moments, the Socceroos nearly scored as the ball fell to young superstar Garang Kuol. The forward swivelled quickly, but Argentinian keeper Martinez made a brilliant one-on-one save to help send the South American juggernauts to the quarter-final.
The football world was quick to praise the Socceroos after a valiant run to the round of 16 at the World Cup.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also joined in singing the Socceroos' praise.
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) December 3, 2022
What a magnificent effort from the @Socceroos. A great effort in this WC and pushed Argentina all the way till the end. 👍
— Craig Burley (@craigburley) December 3, 2022
You couldn’t be prouder of the @Socceroos.
Written off in qualifying. They’ve just thrown everything at an ultra relieved Argentina in the rd of 16.
Mat Ryan looked devastated. Held his hand up in apology to the fans.
Remarkable group. A heroic, game-changing, World Cup #Aus
— Daniel Garb (@DanielGarb) December 3, 2022
Very brave at the end - unfortunate not to force extra time. But what a campaign! Australia should be proud of this team. 👏
— simonhill1894 (@simonhill1894) December 3, 2022
World feed commentators FULL of praise for the Aussies. So much focus on how impressive the Socceroos have been. Messi, the second conversation.
The boys have caught the world’s attention. Awesome.
— Neroli Meadows (@Neroli_Meadows) December 3, 2022
— Matt Giteau 🇦🇺 (@giteau_rugby) December 3, 2022
Great World Cup played by the @Socceroos and congratulations to everyone involved. I am sure over the last couple weeks every Australian, especially the media, finally realized that FOOTBALL is the greatest sport on earth. Looking forward to see the the game grow in Australia. ⚽️
— Alexander Baumjohann (@AlexBaumjohann) December 3, 2022
So very proud.
Took us on an unbelievable, unforgettable journey.
Love our team.
— Melanie McLaughlin (@Mel_Mclaughlin) December 3, 2022
Socceroos in tears after Argentina loss
Following the devastating loss, Irvine was in tears after Australia came so close to equalising.
"We gave it everything, just like we have every minute of this competition," tearful Socceroos midfielder Jackson Irvine said pitchside. "(It was) just not enough on the day."
The Australians leave Qatar after their best overall performance at the World Cup, with two wins in a single edition of the tournament for the first time. But, just as the only other Socceroos team to advance from the group-stage did in 2006, they depart at the round of 16.
"I just hope that everyone back in Australia really respects what we've done and are proud of us as well," Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said.
"We took it to them. We finished off well. We had a great chance at the end there to equalise. I've got to be very, very proud of the boys. Just so grateful at the effort they've put in for me."
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is on SBS and SBS on Demand.
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