With Ange Postecoglou departing in late 2017, experienced Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk took the reins on an interim basis, charged with preparing the Socceroos for Russia 2018.
Australia was drawn in another tough group, alongside Denmark, Peru and eventual winners France, but were confident of being in the mix for the knockout stages.
The Socceroos were unlucky to go down 2-1 to the French in their opening Group C encounter, as VAR was used for the first time at a FIFA World Cup.
Les Bleus were awarded a penalty following video review, after Josh Risdon’s sliding challenge on Antoine Griezmann was ruled to have been a foul, and the striker made no mistake from the resulting spot-kick.
Jedinak equalised from the penalty spot after Australia were awarded one of their own for handball, but a late strike from Paul Pogba denied the Socceroos a deserved point.
Next up was Denmark and the sides could not be split after 90 minutes, with Christian Eriksen’s well-taken half-volley in the seventh minute cancelled out by another Jedinak penalty.
A do-or-die clash with Peru awaited the team in Green and Gold but it was not to be as the South Americans scored either side of half-time to come away with a 2-0 win and end Australia’s hopes of replicating their 2006 progression.
Shortly after the FIFA World Cup ended, former Australia international Graham Arnold took his place as full-time coach for the second time and turned his attention to steering the team to another appearance on the world’s biggest stage, at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
- Football Australia
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