The script seemed written.
With Graham Arnold seeming puppeteering a failed and flawed Australian outfit that had been lauded and feared for aeons before, many labelled inevitable defeat as the drawing of a curtain on a pastime loved by so many.
Peru had the spotlight to themselves, it ostensibly seemed. Dazzling four years before under Sochi’s summer skies, Australia would simply fold again, the Peruvians set to exercise their divine right on their day of days.
The Socceroos wrote their own script.
On behalf of fans young and old, of all genders all beliefs standing with the green and gold, Arnold’s actors played with sublime courage, defying those who said our game was on life support.
Andrew Redmayne’s parading on his goal line not only showed Australia’s relaxed but determined culture in microcosm, but also galvanised a nation who, in football terms, were down on its haunches and crying for a spark.
With this World Cup falling in our warmest months for the first and perhaps only time, this is an opportunity Australia cannot miss.
With other football codes usually strong competitors in June unable to impede, Qatar will be the talk of the town.
Pubs overflowing with harmonious Australian voices.
Football clubs watching their hopefuls on in unison.
The next generation, hoping to pencil their name into Socceroos history.
With Australia’s clash with Tunisia set to be played in primetime on a Saturday night, all eyes will be fixated on a game that could send shockwaves through the Australian football pyramid to its core.
Those will hope to be the next Redmayne, Mooy or Mabil, watching on as they spur their nation towards potential victory and international acclaim.
The snowball effect will carry right through, with the majority of the A-Leagues seasons set to follow, and the Women’s World Cup from there, where the Matildas will try and gain supremacy in our own backyard next year.
Qualifying for this World Cup means more than booking a ticket to the month-long footballing bonanza, it may well set up a generation.
It must be said that the sport in this country is far from flawless, with talk of many issues surrounding the game certainly vindicated.
For a moment though, all that was forgotten, as football brought this nation together like few other devices have the power of doing, as the dystopian outlook on the game evaporated for a split second.
Shakespeare once said that ”all the world’s a stage”. On the world stage, the biggest stage of all, the Socceroos will be there to play.