Australia World Cup history: Record, last appearance, best finish for Socceroos at FIFA tournament

Australia secured one of the final berths at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after beating Peru on penalties in an intercontinental qualifier.

The Socceroos have qualified for every World Cup since 2006 and have become a FIFA tournament staple.

Officially part of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Australia rarely have an easy path to the World Cup and must punch above their weight once there.

Before the 2022 World Cup, sports news looks back at previous Socceroos appearances.

Australia’s last World Cup appearance

The Socceroos qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after beating Honduras 3-0 in the playoffs.

Australia have been drawn in Group C of the tournament alongside France, Denmark and Peru.

They faced eventual champions France first, and despite equalizing in the 62nd minute via Mile Jedinak, they would end up losing 2-1 after conceding an own goal late in the game.

The Socceroos then faced Denmark and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with another Jedinak penalty securing the team a point after Christian Eriksen netted after just seven minutes.

In Australia’s final group game against Peru, both teams needed Denmark to lose their final game to have any chance of progressing, but the Danes drew 0-0 with France.

Peru ended up beating the Socceroos 2-0 as Australia finished bottom of Group C with one point from three games.

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Australia’s best ever World Cup campaign

The Socceroos have only reached the knockout stages of a World Cup once when they did so in 2006.

In their first tournament appearance since 1974, which ended in a penalty shootout victory over Uruguay, Australia were drawn in Group F alongside Brazil, Croatia and Japan .

Needing a positive result first, the Socceroos came back from 1-0 down against Japan to win 3-1 after scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes.

Australia were brought down to earth somewhat against Brazil in a 2-0 loss but kept a clean sheet in the first half against the defending champions.

Croatia then awaited the Socceroos’ final group game, with the green and gold needing just one point to progress.

A dramatic game saw Croatia take the lead twice but Australia equalized both times in a fiery 2-2 draw which saw Josip Simunic memorably hand over three yellow cards.

The Socceroos faced eventual champions Italy in the round of 16 and were beaten 1-0 thanks to a controversial penalty converted by Francesco Totti in injury time.

Australia was adamant. Lucas Neill’s challenge on Fabio Grosso was not worthy of a kick as their great run ended on a sour note.

What is Australia’s World Cup record?

Year Round Games Won Prints Losses GF Georgia
1974 Group stage 3 0 1 2 0 5
2006 Round of 16 4 1 1 2 5 6
2010 Group stage 3 1 1 1 3 6
2014 Group stage 3 0 0 3 3 9
2018 Group stage 3 0 1 2 2 5

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