Wednesday, November 16, 2016

16 November 2005 - That's What He Gets For Trying The Stutter-Step

On 16 November 2005, Australia advanced to the World Cup with a playoff win over Uruguay in a penalty shootout.

FIFA required the two-legged playoff to give a World Cup spot to the winner of the Oceania qualification tournament, Australia, or the fifth-place team from South America, Uruguay. The teams met in Montevideo on 12 November for the first leg, which the hosts won 1-0 with a 37th-minute goal from left back Darío Rodríguez. The rematch in Sydney four days later was oddly similar, as Socceroo midfielder Mark Bresciano found the back of the net in the 35th minute. It was the only goal of the match through regulation and extra time, so the 1-1 aggregate score set up the penalty shootout.

Australia were up 1-0 when Rodríguez attempted Uruguay's first kick. He tried a stutter-step approach to draw Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer off his line, but the keeper held firm, then guessed correctly and dove to his left to block the shot.

After two more shots each, Australia were leading 3-2, but captain Mark Viduka sent his attempt wide. Striker Marcelo Zalayeta then had a chance to draw Uruguay level, but again Schwarzer guessed correctly and palmed the ball away.

Striker John Aloisi then stepped up to the spot, knowing that a successful shot would send Australia to Germany. Uruguay keeper Fabián Carini dove to the correct side, but could not get a hand on the ball, as Aloisi buried it in the top corner.

It was Australia's second trip to the World Cup, and their first since 1974, but they made it count by advancing to the Round of 16 before their 1-0 elimination at the hands of eventual champions Italy.

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