Australia will be participating in the World Cup in June and July 2014 in Brazil after overcoming a resilient Iraq outfit that kept them out the best part of 83 minutes in rainy Sydney.
This win sparks celebrations around the city and country as the Socceroos now go to their third consecutive World Cup finals event and fourth overall.
The 1-0 result was on the end of a crucial coaching decision by Holger Osiek, withdrawing hometown favourite Tim Cahill and replacing him with goal scorer Josh Kennedy.
As Tomas Rogic also had come on prior to the match winning sub, Archie Thompson was also thrown into the action as Robbie Kruse was taken off. All of the gaffer’s cards had been played and a nation awaited the goal that would drive the team to the biggest sporting event on the globe.
The winner on the 83rd minute was a headed goal from a Mark Bresciano cross.
As the final whistle sounded the loud speakers pumped out famous song “We’re going to Rio, de Janeiro” and the players and rain-soaked 80,523 strong crowd went into ecstasy.
The coach and players now have 12 months to prepare to give it a bash as they look to better their 2006 effort of the round of 16 that they lost narrowly to eventual winners Italy.
Some of the older guard now preparing to hand over the reigns to some of the young talent that has been making headlines in European football. One man who will bow out after the finals next year is still at the top of his game. Mark Schwarzer will look to go out on a high and no doubt his mates will help him achieve it.
Many Aussies will now look to FIFA as they wait for first lot of ticket allocations that are due to come out in July.