Australia gained entry into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil by finishing second to Japan in one of the two groups for Asian World Cup Qualifying. Although losing just one game in the final round of qualifying, they tied four of their eight games. The problem of not having a marquee goal-scorer is one that will haunt them throughout the upcoming tournament.
Their inability to score goals doesn’t mean that Australia lack the capability to win games; their difficult group will be the reason they find it difficult to win. Led by veteran New York Red Bulls star Tim Cahill, Australia will be looking to find success in one of the most difficult groups in the 2014 World Cup, Group B, which contains Chile, as well as both finalists in the previous World Cup, Spain and the Netherlands.
Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that Australia will make it to the knockout stages. The Socceroos are a good team, but drew a very difficult group. Australia have the talent to draw a game or so, but they have nowhere near the talent level of the Netherlands, Spain or even Chile. Expect this to be a very disappointing tournament for Australia, but don’t worry. Australia seem to be a regular fixture in the World Cup, and that doesn’t look like it’s changing any time soon.
Group Stage Game One: Australia vs. Chile – Friday, June 13, 6 p.m. EST on ESPN2
Group Stage Game Two: Australia vs. The Netherlands – Wednesday, June 18, Noon EST on ESPN
Group Stage Game Three: Australia vs. Spain – Monday, June 23, Noon EST on ESPN2