Socceroos player Bailey Wright received some devastating news about his mother-in-law just minutes after the Socceroos advanced to the round of 16 at the World Cup. The Socceroos stunned the football world with a 1-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday (Thursday morning AEDT), advancing to the knockout stage for just the second time in history.
Wright came on late in the game as the Socceroos held on for victory in staggering scenes. However the Aussie star was on the verge of tears after the game as he revealed a devastating text he'd received from his wife about his mother-in-law in England.
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“Just come in from a message from my wife,” Wright said. “Hope she (my mother-in-law) is still with us.”
Wright said he hadn't even told his Socceroos teammates about the situation before fronting up to the media. “It’s something I’ve kept to myself, no-one knows,” he said. “We’ve all got a lot going on, just really proud.”
Wright's appearance against Denmark was the 30-year-old's World Cup debut. He was part of the Socceroos squad in 2014 but never made it onto the field.
“To get on is special,” Wright said. “But even if I didn’t get on, to achieve what we’ve achieved, a lot of that performance and the reward you’re seeing now has been an effort over four years. A lot has been on this journey, and that’s for everyone who has made sacrifices over four years.”
Who do the Socceroos play next at the World Cup?
The Socceroos will next play Argentina in the round of 16 after Lionel Messi's side beat Poland 2-0 later on Wednesday. Australia and Argentina will face off in the do-or-die clash at 6am on Sunday morning (Australian time).
Australia's win over Denmark marked the first time in history that a Socceroos side has won two games at a World Cup. The famous side of 2006 that featured the likes of Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill and Mark Viduka advanced to the knockouts after a win and a draw.
"It's the first time ever an Australian team has won two games of the World Cup in a row," Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said. "Maybe we're talking about a new golden generation now because we have been listening and hearing about the golden generation of 2006 who got four points - and now we have got six."
Socceroos players were left in awe of Matthew Leckie's incredible solo goal that sent Australia to victory. The Aussie star turned the tide in the underdogs' favour when he found the back of the net with his left foot in the 60th minute.
"He had no right to score ... he had no right to put it in the back of the net," teammate Jamie Maclaren said. "But when you have got the pace and the experience and the nous that Lecks has ... it was immense."
Leckie said: "As the ball was rolling in, I saw it going in, I was so excited and so happy. By the celebration you see how much emotion there was.
"I'm just so proud. We've worked so hard. This is my third World Cup now and I've had my chances in previous World Cups to score, wasn't meant to be. My first World Cup (goal) is probably one of the most important goals for me and for the team."
The Socceroos' equation was made all the more difficult when France rested nine of their starting players in a 1-0 loss to Tunisia. The Aussies had previously assumed that a draw against Denmark would be enough to advance, but Tunisia's win left the Socceroos needing all three points.
Leckie scored just three minutes after Tunisia had gone up 1-0 in the simultaneous game. Tunisian fans and players on the bench were seen watching the final stages of the Socceroos game while theirs was still underway and were left heartbroken that Denmark couldn't find a late equaliser.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is on SBS and SBS on Demand.
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