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2002 FIFA World Cup – News – The story behind an unlikely world record

4 min read
2002 FIFA World Cup™ - News - The story behind an unlikely world record
  • Multiple FIFA World Cup data had been set on at the present time 20 years in the past
  • American Samoa confronted quite a few hurdles within the lead-up
  • chronicles the again-story to a novel match

Twenty years in the past right now a world record worldwide rating was set.

Australia 31-0 American Samoa

It is a mark that may certainly by no means be surpassed.

This is the again-story of how the record books had been torn to shreds in Coffs Harbour. About six hours north of Sydney, the world’s beachside atmosphere is extra famend as a summer season vacation spot. But in soccer circles, the city’s identify has turn out to be extra synonymous with a barely plausible 90 minutes.

Newly-minted worldwide striker Archie Thompson scored an unthinkable 13 objectives, one other world record that appears sure by no means to be erased. Unbelievably, Thompson posted a brand new particular person FIFA World Cup™ scoring record moments earlier than the break to depart the half-time rating at 16-0.

It was, after all, the stuff of nightmares for below-siege goalkeeper Nicky Salapu. Also with trigger to really feel onerous achieved by was David Zdrilic, whose haul of eight objectives would have been sufficient to set a world record in some other earlier match since worldwide soccer started in 1872.

The scoreboard even introduced the ultimate rating as 32-0, including insult to American Samoan damage, till somebody did a recount.

Australia 31-0 American Samoa
11 April 2001

Goals: Con Boutsianis 10′, 50′, 84′, Archie Thompson 12′, 23′, 27′, 29′, 32′, 37′, 42′, 45′, 56′, 60′, 65′, 85′, 88′, David Zdrilic 13′, 21′, 25′, 33′, 58′, 66′, 78′, 89′, Aurelio Vidmar 14′, 80′, Tony Popovic 17′, 19′, Simon Colosimo 51′, 81′, Fausto De Amicis 55′

Archie Thompson of Australia after setting a world record in 2001

© Getty Images

Different worlds

Eligibility guidelines modified shortly earlier than the event, that means the overwhelming majority of American Samoa’s squad was lacking. Work, and even college, commitments ensured additional unavailability. Their last squad even included a few 15-yr-olds who reportedly had not performed a 90-minute match earlier than the event.

Conversely, Australia’s golden technology was simply starting to bloom. The majority of the squad had been based mostly at large golf equipment in Europe, others had been stars of the nation’s former National Soccer League.

The likes of Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell had been omitted from the event squad. Left on the bench had been the likes of 2006 World Cup goalscorer John Aloisi and then-Socceroos all-time main scorer Damian Mori.

Nevertheless, not often has there been such disparity between two groups lining up for an worldwide.

Australia had been seeking to exorcise some demons. Four years earlier, the nationwide group’s seemingly cursed quadrennial push to achieve a primary World Cup since 1974 reached a brand new nadir as their unbeaten marketing campaign ended with a vastly unfortunate away-objectives elimination in opposition to IR Iran after main 2-0.

At the opposite finish of the spectrum, American Samoa had performed their first-ever World Cup qualifier simply 4 days earlier, recording a crushing 13-0 loss in opposition to Fiji. Boasting lower than 50,000 inhabitants, the tiny, unincorporated US island territory sits on the distant jap finish of Oceania.

Off the sphere, the relative ambitions and sources of the respective groups spoke volumes. Australia’s resort-type resort boasted a 9-gap golf course and its personal taking part in fields. American Samoa, however, had been holed up three-to-a-room in an previous motel on the noisy primary freeway that hyperlinks Sydney and Brisbane.

IR Iran set a brand new World Cup record with a 19-0 win over Guam in 2000. Australia eclipsed that mark with a 22-0 scoreline in opposition to Tonga two days earlier than going through American Samoa.

The most objectives scored in a World Cup qualifier was initially set by Australia’s Gary Cole in 1981 in opposition to Fiji, after which equalled by IR Iran’s Karim Bagheri in opposition to Maldives in 1997.

What they mentioned

“The American Samoa team were absolute beginners. In some ways it just did not seem the right thing to do, to walk all over them the way we did, but we had to at least show them the respect of trying our best.”
Archie Thompson

“It was really hard for me to deal with. But I thought if I don’t get back on the field I would never get a win for American Samoa. I had been suffering for a long time to get that win. To be part of this has been a big deal for me.”
Nicky Salapu after serving to American Samoa to their first worldwide win.

Nicky Salapu #1 of American Samoa is comforted by team mate Young Im Min #20 after they were beaten 31 to nil by Australia

© Getty Images

What subsequent

American Samoa, with Salapu in purpose, claimed a effectively-documented maiden victory in 2011 – subsequently detailed in a extremely-regarded documentary – having gone into these Brazil 2014 qualifiers with a record of performed 30, misplaced 30, scored 12 objectives and conceded 229. Four years later, they doubled that tally and solely purpose distinction denied the Polynesians an unthinkable spot within the subsequent spherical.

Just a number of months after defeating world champions France on the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, Australia once more noticed their World Cup ambitions finish with a last-hurdle defeat, happening 3-1 to Uruguay in an intercontinental play-off. But they turned the tables in opposition to the South Americans 4 years later to achieve Germany 2006, and have now certified for 4 successive World Cups.

Next Goal Wins American Samoa film poster

© Others

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