Sydney | Australia’s 30 (plus one) years of hurt? Their sentence has been served, with a pulsating triumph over Uruguay in penalty kicks early this morning ending a long absence from the World Cup. In the Olympic Stadium in Homebush Bay—where aboriginal runner Cathy Freeman thrilled crowds in the 2000 Olympics—the “Wizards of Oz” brought Australian soccer “into the light.” The Sydney Morning Herald invokes the spirit of the late Johnny Warren (see Nov 13) to celebrate a country momentarily unified by the game seen by some to be infringing on native sporting expressions.
In a multicultural nation in a fractured world, the Socceroos can bring together the sum of their parts: Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, German, Lebanese, Polynesian, Croatian, Italian, Melanesian, Greek. It is a rich tapestry but last night they … were one thing only, Australian.