Speculation around Tim Cahill’s future in the Socceroos jersey has ramped up after the veteran only came on to the field for the second half of the final match of the group stage at the 2018 World Cup.
Australia needed to beat Peru to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stage of the World Cup after they lost to France 2-1 and drew with Denmark.
Many Socceroos fans were calling for Cahill to be brought on to the field for the start of the match against Peru but at the 53rd minute when he was substituted on to the field, Australia were already 0-2 down and it was too little too late.
At 38 years of age, it is unlikely Cahill will see out another four years for the next World Cup but his teammates say he has made no indication about what his future plans are with the national team.
“I don’t know if it was the last time. Timmy never gives up,” Australia midfielder Aaron Mooy said.
“His career is amazing. So driven mentally and had so much ability and someone I’ve always looked up to.”
In his limited time on the field, Cahill had opportunities to score but just fell short, not unlike the rest of the Socceroos World Cup campaign.
“That was the main reason that we could control the game for big parts, and if you play like that and you have chances, you create chances, then you have to score. That was our problem,” Australia coach Bert van Marwijk said.
Australia only scored two goals in their three matches, all of which came from penalties by Mile Jedinak.
“We had a lot of chances … even in that first half and it just wouldn’t go in,” Jedinak said.
“On another day maybe a little bit of luck, but maybe that’s just been against us a little bit, particularly from open play. It wasn’t form a lack of effort or a lack of trying.”
Cahill has represented Australia in the last four World Cups and has scored at least once in all of them bar this years’.
At the end of Australia’s match against Peru, Australia’s soccer hero walked over and touched a goal post in gesture that many believe was his final farewell to World Cup and possibly all international soccer.