The year 1992 was the first time Australia's Under-23s were referred to as the "Olyroos". These young men, mostly from the National Soccer League, set the standard for all future Australian youth teams.
They were simply sensational in qualifying and at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
To reach the Olympics, the Olyroos famously knocked-out the Netherlands, overseen by the legendary Rinus Michels, in the final qualification match in Utrecht on 24 May. Olyroos coach, Eddie Thomson, snatched a one-all draw at the Sydney Football Stadium. Most in world football expected the second leg to be a comprehensive Dutch victory.
Silky Olyroos libero, Ned Zelic, had other ideas. With the match in extra-time, Zelic made a run down the right flank and looked to cross the ball along the goal line. However, Zelic fooled the Dutch defenders and goalkeeper, shooting from the most acute of angles to slot the ball away. He had also scored the Olyroos' first goal in what turned out to be a historical performance. The Olyroos progressed on the away-goals rule.
The Dutch were crestfallen, as many pundits had them as favourites to take out gold in Barcelona.
The Olyroos proved their qualification run was no fluke by making the semi-finals, but no one will forget ITV's Gerry Harrison, calling Zelic's extraordinary goal on that May afternoon in Utrecht. Zelic's lanky outstretched-arms celebration would become an iconic image for Australian soccer fans throughout the nineties.
Zelic would go on to represent the Socceroos with distinction, twice narrowly missing out on FIFA World Cup qualification.
Ned Zelic Has Scored for Australia T-shirt
- Unisex, regular fit
- Crew neck
- Mid-weight, 180 GSM
- 100% combed cotton
- Neck ribbing, side seamed, shoulder to shoulder tape, double needle hems, preshrunk to minimise shrinkage
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