Australia in World Cup for First Time Since 1974

By MIKE CORDER
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 16, 2005; 4:16 PM

SYDNEY, Australia -- Australia advanced to the World Cup for the first time since 1974, beating Uruguay 4-2 on penalty kicks Wednesday night following a 1-0 victory.

Marco Bresciano scored in the 34th minute for Australia, which lost the first leg of the home-and-home, total-goals series 1-0 in Montevideo on Saturday. Neither team managed to score after that through regulation and 30 minutes of overtime, and a World Cup berth was decided by penalty kicks for the first time.


Australia's goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer saves the second of two penalties during their second leg World Cup qualifier against Uruguay at Sydney's Olympic Stadium, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005 Australia defeated Uruguay on penalties to book a World Cup soccer finals berth for the first time since 1974. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Australia's goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer saves the second of two penalties during their second leg World Cup qualifier against Uruguay at Sydney's Olympic Stadium, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005 Australia defeated Uruguay on penalties to book a World Cup soccer finals berth for the first time since 1974. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) (Mark Baker - AP)

"It's such a shock now," said Australia forward Mark Vidmar, part of Australia's team that failed to qualifying for the previous three World Cups. "We dominated the whole game. The composure we had was fantastic."

Mark Schwarzer saved two penalty kicks for Australia, which lost to Uruguay four years ago in a playoff for a berth in the 2002 tournament. Schwarzer blocked shots from Dario Rodriguez on Uruguay's first kick and from Marcelo Zalayeta on Uruguay's fourth.

Harry Kewell, Lucas Neill, Vidmar and John Aloisi converted penalty kicks past Uruguay goalkeeper Fabian Carini. Australia captain Mark Viduka missed on his country's fourth kick. After Zalayeta's shot was saved, Aloisi got the winner against the two-time World Cup champions, sparking the crowd of 82,698.

"We thought it was going to happen, we've been dreaming it for 32 years," said Aloisi, who stripped off his shirt and ran along the sidelines after getting the winner. "We had 20 million people following us, we just can't believe it. We're there."

Gustavo Varela and Fabian Estoyanoff converted penalty kicks for Uruguay, which went first in the shootout.

Australia is coached by Guus Hiddink, who coached South Korea to the 2002 World Cup semifinals.

"At times, they were complaining that we were working too hard. But I think it was worth it," Hiddink said.

Rodriguez had scored for Uruguay in Saturday's game.

The final four berths in the 32-nation World Cup field were at stake later Wednesday. In Europe, the Czech Republic was ahead 1-0 going into its game against visiting Norway, Spain took a 5-1 lead into its match at Slovakia and Switzerland went to Turkey ahead 2-0. In the playoff between Asia and North and Central America and the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago was at Bahrain following a 1-1 tie in the first leg.


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