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Australia farewell Cahill with 3-0 win over Lebanon

21 November 2018

FOOTBALL: Australia farewelled the legendary Tim Cahill on Tuesday night, with the Socceroos triumphing over Lebanon, 3-0 at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday night.

In appearance number 108 for the Aussie great, Cahill entered the field to a standing ovation in the 82nd minute for his final Socceroos appearance.

The dominant 3-0 win, which included two goals from starting debutant Martin Boyle, extended the Socceroos unbeaten run to six consecutively, with the Athens 2004 Olympian able to retire from his international career on a high.

After the final whistle blew, a teary Cahill took to the stage with his family and thanked all those who had helped him over his incredible 15-year international career.

“This is the only time you’re going to see me cry,” an emotional Cahill began.

“I want to say thank you, firstly to my family. For being there from day one, the sacrifices my family made for me is the reason why every time I step on that pitch I’m fearless, I’m free. Nothing can hurt me on the pitch and everything I do is for my family.

“Secondly, I want to thank my teammates and all the staff that I’ve worked with. The coaches, the players, without you guys I’ll be nothing, honestly I’ll be nothing. The coaches that are not here, the players that are not here, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart," he continued.

“Now, the most important people as well, is the fans. It was tough for me to play for Australia at the start, and I tell you what every time I wore the green and gold I play with my heart. And I never left anything off the pitch. So I don’t want to keep you too long, I just want to tell you all that this is just as much for all of you as it is for me. So thank you very much Australia.”

Cahill began his international career in 2004, making his first appearance in a friendly against South Africa, before playing in the OFC Nations Cup. His performance helped him secure a spot in the 2004 Olympic Team, where the Socceroos advanced to the quarter finals of the men’s football tournament in Athens, before being knocked out by Iraq.

Cahill also scored both the first and second ever World Cup goals for the Socceroos in 2006, which subsequently lead to their first World Cup win in 2006. He then followed up with another in the 2010 World Cup and three more in the 2014 World Cup taking his total to five.

Retiring at 108 appearances for his country, Cahill just missed out on Mark Schwarzer’s record of 109, but in amassing 50 goals for Australia, he remains the nations all-time leading goal scorer.

Referred to by FIFA as “blessed with a remarkable heading ability and a seemingly talismanic presence” Cahill leaves a legacy that will be hard to match, giving Australia their first taste of World Cup hope and creating a new generation of football.

Liana Buratti
olympics.com.au

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