SYDNEY — Tim Cahill wants to join an elite list of World Cup scorers to sit alongside Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose.

After making the cut for Australia’s 23-man squad, the 38-year-old Cahill has a good chance of becoming just the fourth player to score in four consecutive World Cups.

When Australia needs goals it turns to Cahill, its all-time leading scorer. The veteran forward has scored almost half of the team’s World Cup goals: 5 of 11.

The Socceroos have Cahill to thank for their first win at a World Cup after he scored late goals against Japan in 2006. Cahill scored both in Australia’s Asian playoff win over Syria late last year as the country’s place at a fourth consecutive World Cup was clinched.

But age, a lack of playing time since he returned to English side Millwall, and the fact Australia’s newly hired coach Bert van Marwijk wanted to select a squad based on recent form rather than reputation, meant that his spot in Russia wasn’t guaranteed until this month.

It was just part of the uncertainty over preparations for a group stage that sees No. 36-ranked Australia play a trio of sides in the top 12 in the FIFA’s May rankings: France (7), Peru (11) and Denmark (12).

Van Marwijk was appointed only in January on a short-term deal to replace Ange Postecoglou, who quit after guiding the team through the longest qualifying path to Russia. Van Marwijk helped Saudi Arabia secure a spot in Russia before quitting that job — and his first game in charge of Australia was a 4-1 loss to Norway in March. The Australians followed that with a 0-0 draw with Colombia in London and a 4-1 win over Czech Republic.

With a new formation in the works, Cahill’s best chance of playing time is likely as …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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