For the Socceroos It’s Déjà vu All Over Again

They attribute this famous quotation to Yogi Berra:

“It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

but it could well apply to Australia’s National Mens Football Team (known as the “Socceroos”) heroic campaign to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, following on from their previous courageous qualifying campaign to reach Russia in 2018.

Road to Qualification 2022

In the Asian Confederation, the two top ranked teams in from two Groups A and B automatically qualify for the final 32. Unfortunately, for the Socceroos they finished 3rd in Group B, which meant that they needed to contest an extra round of knock-out competition for qualification into the final 32.

Contrary to their what many pundits were saying, the Socceroos overcame their opponents in an Asian qualifier (against United Arab Emirates, UAE, 2-1) and a South American (CONMEBOL), Intercontinental Qualifier (against Peru, 0-0 extra time, 5-4 penalties). Normally, these playoff matches would have been home and away contests with the best aggregate score deciding the winner. However, owing to time constraints from the worldwide Covid-19 epidemic, contests became one-chance matches, played in Qatar, with the winner qualifying to the next stage.

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