Tuesday 20th November 2018
Harry Cooper – UCFB Multimedia Sports Journalism Student 2018
Tim Cahill, Australia’s prolific goal scorer has decided to hang up his international boots. The striker’s final appearance came in The Socceroo’s 3-0 home victory over Lebanon. Cahill came on in the 82nd minute making a small but emotional cameo appearance, after a couple of goals from Martin Boyle and a third from Mathew Leckie were enough to seal the victory.
Cahill was unable to score in his last game for his country, which would have been the cherry on the cake for the 38 year old. Despite not bagging himself a farewell goal, he remains Australia’s all-time top goal scorer with 50 to his name. His 108th and final appearance falls just one short of former Aussie goal keeper and team mate of Cahill’s, Mark Schwarzer.
The little striker has had a memorable career playing for his country with some iconic moments along the way. He made his first senior appearance at the age of 24 in a friendly against South Africa that took place at Loftus Road; home of Queens Park Rangers FC.
His personal highlight perhaps, might be scoring in the 2006 World Cup against Japan. Cahill was the first Australian to score at a World Cup Finals tournament. As well as this, he was the first Roo to win a World Cup man of the match award which came in the same game, as he went on to score a second in their 3-1 win.
The former Millwall and Everton man continued to score goals for his country and in 2014 joined a list of highly regarded goal scorers to have scored at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cup. His name sits alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin Van Persie, Arjen Robben, Miroslav Klose, Clint Dempsey and Mexican defender Rafael Marquez.
It was at the 2014 Rio World Cup that Cahill scored one of, if not the, best goal of his career. An iconic volley against The Netherlands in a 3-2 group stage defeat. His left footed strike inside the penalty box looped over goal keeper Jasper Cillessen and went in off the underside of the cross bar. A truly magnificent strike that sent the whole of Australia into absolute euphoria! A great World Cup goal.
The international hero best known for his heading ability said “This is the only time you’re going to see me cry. Every time I wore the green and gold, I played with my heart and I never left anything on the pitch. Thank you very much Australia.”