Today marks the 25th anniversary of one of Australia’s proudest footballing moments long before the likes of Aloisi, Schwarzer and Cahill wrote their names in Australian football folklore.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of one of Australia-s proudest footballing moments long before the likes of Aloisi, Schwarzer and Cahill wrote their names in Australian football folklore.
Despite the advantage of playing at home no one had expected Australia to match it with the might of Argentina, but they did that and a whole lot more as they knocked off the star studded South American side 4-1 in one of the nation-s best football victories.
The game was a part of celebrations for the nation-s Bicentenary in which Australia had invited the World Champions in Argentina, along with world number one ranked Brazil and Saudi Arabia down under to compete in the Bicentennial Cup.
With a lone goal from Romario giving Brazil a 1-0 victory over Australia in the opening match in Melbourne, the hosts bounced back to knock off Saudi Arabia 3-0 in Sydney.
The final round robin match for Australia was against Argentina who had claimed the 1986 FIFA World Cup just two years previously and boasted the likes of Diego Simeone and Oscar Ruggeri.
The Aussies stunned the world champions as Paul Wade put them in front after just two moments. Ruggeri equalised on the half-hour mark, but just before half-time came Yankos-s free-kick, a single shot that will forever live in the minds of Australian football fans.
Almost 40 metres from goal, directly in front of the three-man Argentina wall, the skipper took a short run up and thrashed the ball goalwards. Despite a seemingly slight deflection, the ball brushed past the three-man wall, beyond goalkeeper Islas and into the right-hand corner.
A Yankos penalty and beautiful 80th-minute Vlado Bozinoski header completed the rout, as Australia defeated Argentina 4-1 in from of 18,000 at Sydney Football Stadium.
Australia went through to the final where they faced Brazil and could not match the heroics they showed against the Argentineans as they went down.
Despite the loss in the final the Australians had claimed a historic victory in the tournament that remains one of the side-s greatest ever wins.