Australia

Joy and agony for Aussie fans cheering teams in World Cup final

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Australian football fans stayed up all night to watch the final of this year's FIFA World Cup.

In the early hours of Monday morning French and Croatian football fans rugged up in their respective colours with game faces painted on to cheer their teams to victory.

The night would ultimately belong to the French, but that didn’t stop more than 2000 Croatian Australian fans packing in to the King Tom Club in Western Sydney to watch history in the making as their team played in their first World Cup final.

 

French fans celebrate the World Cup Final win in Melbourne
French fans celebrate the World Cup Final win in Melbourne
SBS

With three hours until kick-off, the club was already at capacity, patriotic songs were loudly and proudly sung, as punters filled up on kransky rolls and steak sandwiches.

Many young fans were already asleep before kick-off, missing out on an electrifying equaliser, as Croatia scored in the first half.

“We’re a small nation, we have big hearts,” 15-year-old Olivia Orlovic told SBS News.

“All we want, all the boys want is passion for soccer and to win for their country.”

The King Tom Club was established by Croatian migrants in the 1960's and remains a key gathering place for members of the community who were out in force to witness what they described as “a proud moment.”

The final 4-2 score hasn’t deterred young football fans who said their team played with heart.

“I’m happy we got second, it’s still better than third,” young optimist Noah Pernic told SBS News.

“I reckon we’ll do better next time.”

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Well worth the 20-year wait

French fans were equally as glued to the screen at Alliance Francaise in St Kilda, erupting with pride as they seized World Cup glory again two decades after first doing so.

“I can’t believe it, 20 years later,” one fan told SBS News.

“I think we deserved it, the team played really well.”

Another simply said: “It’s amazing, unbelievable.”

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