Friday 08 October 2021, 10:57

Socceroos leap their way to World Cup record

  • Australia set new FIFA World Cup qualifying mark with 11th consecutive win

  • All but one of the Socceroos’ matches were played away from home

  • Australia are chasing a fifth successive World Cup qualification appearance

It will make a good trivia question in the future; which team holds the record for the most consecutive wins during a single FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign? Brazil, Spain or, perhaps, Germany? In fact, the answer is Australia.

The Socceroos’ 3-1 win over Oman on Thursday stretched their winning streak during Qatar 2022 qualifiers to 11 matches.

Most consecutive wins during a single FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign: 10 - Germany (Russia 2018), 10 - Spain (South Africa 2010), 10 - Mexico (Germany 2006)

Australia’s run started in September 2019 with the opening of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round 2 qualifiers in Asia as the Socceroos completed Group B with eight straight wins.

That momentum has been maintained in their Round 3 Group B campaign with further wins over China PR, Vietnam and Oman. Their last defeat was a 1-0 friendly loss against Korea Republic in June 2019.

Covid-19 means Australia have been unable to play at home since late 2019. The fact that Australia has a modest win record hovering around 30 per cent on West Asian soil underscores the significance of their achievement.

“It’s something we'll probably reflect on in the future and what a great feat it has been, especially playing 10 out of 11 games away from home,” said Australia coach Graham Arnold. “But to me it's all about going to Japan [on Tuesday] and making it 12 [wins].”

Unlike Australia’s star-laden World Cup sides of 2006 and 2010, the current generation boast few household names with just a couple of players currently featuring in Europe’s major competitions. But the winning streak suggests Arnold has been able to bring the best of his squad with new names such as Awer Mabil, Ajdin Hrustic and Martin Boyle adding to the quality of Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, Maty Ryan and Co.

"We have a strong team and we keep building,” said forward Mabil. “The most important thing is to win and every time I go on the field, it is just to win no matter what.”

In 1996-97, the Socceroos set a then-world record of 14 straight international wins only for that run to end with a heartbreaking away-goals defeat to IR Iran as France 1998 qualification slipped away. Australia face a massive challenge against Japan on Tuesday but a result in Saitama will put them within sight of a fifth successive World Cup qualification.

Awer Mabil of Australia celebrates after scoring