Football fans around the world are freaking out over Craig Goodwin’s miraculous strike for the Socceroos – and a trainload of supporters erupts in a wild party on their way to Sydney
Craig Goodwin has given Australia the most unlikely start against reigning world champions France, completing a stunning team goal at Al Janoub Stadium on Wednesday morning.
It was the Socceroos’ first goal in open play since Tim Cahill’s iconic volley at the 2014 World Cup – 438 minutes of football ago.
A surefire long ball from the lanky Harry Souttar at centre-back found Mathew Leckie on the right wing, whose deft first touch saw him easily round the French defence.
Leckie’s perfect cross found Goodwin unmarked at the far post, as the former KFC employee calmly slipped home past Hugo Lloris, leaving the French-dominant crowd at Al Janoub stunned just nine minutes into the encounter.
Craig Goodwin looks to the sky after scoring Australia’s first goal in open play since the 2014 World Cup with an unlikely goal against reigning world champions France
Socceroos players rally around Goodwin, who was in shock, disbelief and happiness after his goal
After Saudi Arabia’s surprise victory over tournament favorites Argentina, this is proof that anything can really happen at a World Cup.
Not even the most ardent Aussie supporters could have imagined scoring a goal against France, let alone one in open play that had absolutely nothing to do with luck or an opposing foul.
Fans collectively lost their minds over Goodwin’s astonishing goal, and the build-up to it, with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese quickly writing “Go Socceroos” accompanied by a pair of green and gold heart emojis.
Following a particularly rousing rendition of Advance Australia Fair pre-game, there were extraordinary scenes at Federation Square watch party, as Aussie supporters were filmed going berserk in response to Goodwin’s goal.
People tweeted from New York, Kolkata; even hotel rooms in Paris, cheeky enough.
Fans even lost it on the 6:09am train from the Central Coast to Sydney because of the incredible start. That’s how football can unite people if it’s not so concerned with excluding people (looking at you, FIFA).
The commentators on the SBS broadcast were just as incredulous and happy as the supporters.
‘Oh my God! A ball from Souttar. Fantastic ball. Leckie, what a ball, being able to overshoot that defender and put that ball on the 6 yard line. That’s the cross, right where you want to put a cross. Goodwin, like any good winger, is on the back post to keep him away,” the callers said.
“That’s a candy the way it gets from Craig.
And he had to fight to be fit for this World Cup, Craig Goodwin. A great moment, and look at the quality. From Matthew Leckie, from behind, perfect in delivery and execution.’
Craig Goodwin’s strike goes past the outstretched arm of French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (right) in the ninth minute of the match
“The French bank is stunned… and a stunned silence at the Al Janoub stadium. The reigning world champion is behind with a goal and Australia full of energy and faith.”
Unfortunately for the Socceroos, France led 2-1 in the 32nd minute after easy goals from Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud.
The French are too fast, too skilled – but they don’t have the Boxing Kangaroo spirit on their side, do they.
More to come…