The Australian Socceroos’ worst nightmares have become a reality, as the groupings for the 2014 World Cup were allocated in Brazil overnight.
World Cup underdog The Socceroos – the least ranked team at 59th – were dealt an excruciating short straw, as the announcement landed Australia in Group B, alongside 2010 champions and runners up Spain and The Netherlands, along with Chile – three teams who all currently sit comfortably in the top 15 of the FIFA world rankings. Ugh, can a volunteer
tribute team please stand up?
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou described the grouping to the ABC as “an enormous challenge”, but remained optimistic. “Our group looks the most difficult group but I hope it’s the group that plays the best football and we’ll play our part in that,” Postecoglou said. The Socceroos’ opening match in the tournament will be against Chile on June 13, 2014.
While some sources are essentially preemptively conceding defeat “[Socceroos’] odds of early exit increase“, the challenge presented in (Death) Group B will be an historic adventure for Australia, opening up a competition between some of the world’s greats. Much like staging a Super Smash Brothers battle against your parents, The Age writer Michael Lynch puts a quaint spin on the grouping outcome by saying, “No-one outside of the immediate camp will presume they can win, so they can play with a freedom and lack of expectation that many other teams will not be able to.”
World cup death sentence put aside, at least Socceroos legend Tim Cahill is taking the challenge in his stride. Bring on Brazil 2014.
— Tim Cahill (@Tim_Cahill) December 6, 2013