I sit here writing this note no less than 24 hours before Australia’s do or die clash with Peru from the comfort of the hotel. The nerves have begun to set in. Tomorrow is the day that our fate will be sealed.
Either way, history will be made. The question is, will the Socceroos be on the right side, or the wrong side of history? This last week in Qatar has been life changing. I have developed a newfound appreciation for Australia’s men’s national football team, and developed an even greater understanding of the sacrifices that the players and staff have made over the past few years to get us to this pivotal moment in qualification.
Tomorrow is a chance to inspire and unite the nation through the beautiful game, and propel our sport into the limelight once again. The streets of Doha have been filled with Peruvian fans. Today alone, I have probably met at least 50 Peruvian fans donning Lapadulla shirts, all of which I have greeted the same by saying “GO THE SOCCEROOS”, which was regularly met with “ARIBA PERU” in return.
From my interactions, the Peruvians are nervous but confident that they can get the job done against Australia. While we will be enemies for 90 minutes on the field, off the field, the Peruvian fans have embraced us Australians as members of the global football community by asking for selfies and photos, and engaging in discussion about the game, how it will be played, and who are the key players to look out for. Football truly does have a funny way of uniting the world.
While it is clear that our Green and Gold Army will be outnumbered in size, we will not be outnumbered in passion. We all know the lives we put on hold to travel halfway across the world to see out our mission of supporting Australia in its quest to qualify for its fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup Finals, all of which serves as motivation to cheer the team on to what will hopefully be another special day in Australia’s rich footballing history.
For those who do not find themselves to be in the fortunate position of cheering Australia’s team on tomorrow from the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium tomorrow, the fans in the stands in green and gold will do their best to be your voice and provide the support that the team deserves.
On that note, all I can say ahead of the game is “VAMOS AUSTRALIA” and “GO THE SOCCEROOS”