Croatian Mile Jedinak Leads Australia to World Cup 2018!

Daniela Rogulj

Australia has become the 31st national team to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year. 

After Modrić, Kalinić, Perišić and Kramarić advanced Croatia to the World Cup in Russia with their goals against Greece, we have to tip our hats to another Croat who has taken their national team to the world championship next year. Mile Jedinak, an Australian of Croatian heritage, was responsible for all three Australia goals in the return match of the World Cup playoffs against Honduras this morning for a convincing 3:1 win, reports on November 15, 2017.

The Australian-Croatian is credited for all three goals in the second half of the match in Sydney, two of which he scored by penalties and the other an own goal off of a free kick. Australia’s captain since 2014, Jedinak scored his 18th, 19th and 20th goals for the national team during his 73rd appearance.

“It’s hard to describe how I feel right now, all of this is a bit unreal. I’m delighted to go to another World Cup,” Jedinak said after the match.

While Mile’s mother Katica hails from Požega and his father Ivan is from Osijek, Mile Jedinak was born in Camperdown, just four kilometers southwest of Sydney. The Australian-Croat started his career at Sydney United, and 14 years ago, he came to Croatia to join Varteks (Varaždin). Unfortunately, Jedinak did not receive decent playing time at Varaždin and decided that a return to Australia was the next move. Later in his career, Jedinak played in Turkey (Genclerbirligi, Antalyaspor) and he continued on to England where he played for Crystal Palace for five years. His latest move was to Aston Villa last August.

“The captain’s band is a great honor and a challenge. I try to be an example for my teammates, which I have done my whole career,” Jedinak said.

The Australian national team featured two other players of Croatian roots, including Tomi Jurić and Matthew Jurman. Jurić played in Croatia for Sesvete, Lokomotiva and Inter from 2010 to 2013.

Australia will play for the fourth consecutive time in the World Cup after having failed seven successive times before. Australia has become the 31st national team to compete in the World Cup, and for the group draw on December 1, 2017, they will be placed in the 4th seeded group which could draw Croatia (2nd seed). 

The final team of the World Cup will be the winner of Peru and New Zealand. The match will be played on Thursday at 3:00 am in Peru. The first game finished 0:0. 

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