Russia 2018 World Cup
Aussie Supporteroos came together as an informal community of football-playing supporters of Australia's national football teams during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. We played 11 matches in 5 cities against fans from 10 countries: France, Denmark, Peru, Algeria, Cyprus, Nigeria, China, Columbia, Spain and Russia.
On June 15, 2018 we played our first 11-a-side fan friendly against French supporters ahead of the official Socceroos match v France in Kazan. Our team consisted of players from all over Australia and the world and was truly inter-generational - the youngest one was 12 and the oldest was 64 years old. Our opponents were a very well-organised team run by the French fan group Irrésistibles Français which had been playing together at various tournaments for a long time. After going down 2-0 in the first half, our team started clicking in the second half and we ended up scoring for fun. The final score of 2-6 marked an auspicious start for our team and during the post-match celebrations the name Aussie Supporteroos was chosen.
Aussie Supporteroos then played their in their first fan tournament which was organised in Samara ahead of the Socceroos match v Denmark. Our semi-final match was a 1-4 loss against a highly skilled and fit team from Denmark which ended up winning the final against Cosmos Samara. Aussie Supporteroos won the 3rd place match 2-0 against Samara Press team.
After a small-sided match against Peru fans in Sochi, Aussie Supporteroos participated in the Fan World Cup held in St. Petersburg on June 29-30, 2018. Although we struggled against skilled teams comprised of expats from Algeria, Cyprus, China, Nigeria and Columbia, Aussie Supporteroos had the distinction of being the only team that featured a female player. We also showed the typical Aussie friendliness and spirit - the Aussie Supporteroos were very popular with the media and organisers and received the Team Spirit award.
Aussie Supporteroos finished their 2018 World Cup tour with two matched played in the heart of Russia on July 13, 2018 - on the Red Square in Moscow. Copa90 legends Eli Mengem and David Vujanic joined our team and we were featured in the SBS World Cup coverage that day. We lost the first match against a strong Russian team 2-5 but won the second one against Spain 2-0.
The fan friendlies played during the 2018 World Cup in Russia were a highlight for dozen of Australian football fans. The experience of playing against fans from different countries was a great one in itself but many of us also forged some great friendships. We are determined to keep connecting Matildas and Socceroos supporters through playing football together against fans from different countries.