On the night, the Socceroos stunned Argentina: How one of the best free-kicks you’ll ever see gave Graham Arnold and his team-mates an all-time win against football’s giants
The year was 1988 and the likes of Argentina and Brazil were on Australian shores competing in the Bicentennial Gold Cup.
Saudi Arabia was the fourth nation to challenge for the trophy – and the Socceroos stunned the world after beating Argentina 4-1 at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Skipper Charlie Yankos finished with a brace to his name on that famous night – and his searing free-kick from 40 meters remains one of the greatest ever goals by an Australian footballer.
Charlie Yankos’ free-kick against a shell-shocked Argentina in 1988 remains one of the best ever goals by a Socceroo
Current Socceroos boss Graham Arnold also played against Argentina on that famous night – and has the opportunity to conjure up another miracle on Sunday morning (AEDT) in Qatar (pictured, in 1993)
The result sent shockwaves around the world since Argentina had won the World Cup two years earlier in Mexico.
And even if the late Diego Maradona didn’t make the cut, the Albiceleste were still a stacked side, with the likes of Diego Simeone and Oscar Ruggeri in their starting XI.
– Just before the break, we were awarded a free kick. I had tried to hit the goal in many, many games, and most of the time the ball hits some spectators in the stands, Yankos recalled.
“On this particular occasion I remember everyone just saying, hit it, hit it, hit the target and I just went for it.
“I didn’t realize how it went in until I saw it on tape the next day and there was a big buzz.”
Socceroos boss Graham Arnold also played that night against Argentina – and at full-time he joked he would need an ambulance given the night of beers to follow.
Unsurprisingly, Brazil won the final comfortably a few days later, with many of the Aussie players still feeling the effects of their big night.
If Arnold can conjure up a similar result against Lionel Messi and co early on Sunday morning, the celebration across Australia will be monumental.
The TAB clearly don’t think the Socceroos can beat the South American giants.
Australia pays a whopping $17, with Argentina just $1.18.
Kick-off is 06:00 (AEDT).