The first World Cup qualification match was played in Phnom Penh against North Korea on November 21, 1965. It was a two-legged playoff with Australia losing the first match 6-1 and then the return leg three days later 3-1. Les Scheinflug holds the honour of scoring the first-ever goal for Australia in a World Cup qualifier with a 70th-minute penalty kick. North Korea would famously go on to make the quarter finals in the 1966 World Cup losing 5-3 to Portugal.
Australia's campaign for the 1970 World Cup saw the Socceroos knock out Japan, South Korea and Rhodesia. After playing three matches against Rhodesia in Mozambique, Australia travelled from the southern African nation straight to Israel for the next stage of an arduous qualification campaign. It lost 1-0 and then returned home to only manage a 1-1 result in Sydney, which ended the World Cup dream.
- Football Australia
- Follow the Socceroos: https://www.socceroos.com.au/