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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

High expectations may weigh down Socceroos

Australia celebrate reaching the World Cup
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Manager Bert van Marwijk

A marathon World Cup campaign which started with a Mile Jedinak goal away to Kyrgyzstan and finished with a goal from the same unlikely source against Honduras more than two years later took its toll on Australia boss Ange Postecoglou who quit after securing a place in Russia.

"I loved this job but it has been all-encompassing," said Postecoglou with many believing he walked away due to criticism after the Socceroos needed two playoff victories to sneak a World Cup berth.

The Confederations Cup was also a perceived failure, although draws with Cameroon and Chile and a 3-2 defeat to Germany suggest expectations are too high in a country where first is first and second is nowhere.

Bert van Marwijk takes over as manager. His first squad features some surprise selections including Aleksandar Susnjar who plays for Czech club Mlada Boleslav, but there was no place for Kaiserslautern winger Brandon Borrello. 

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Draws with Cameroon and Chile and a 3-2 defeat to Germany suggest expectations are too high
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