The Socceroos opened their World Cup account against Japan this morning. I didn't get to watch the match but it sounds like it was a real nailbiter. Most importantly, a win first match in to the tournament bodes very well indeed for the prospect of progression through to the elimination rounds.
The hero of the match was Tim Cahill, a player with a rather unique playing history. The son of an Australian and a Samoan, Cahill has represented both nations at international level. His first international matches were played for Samoa in a FIFA Under-20s tournament in 1994. Such representation immediately denied him the ability to represent Australia and a long ten year battle finally saw FIFA amend the rules in 2004 to allow a conditional change of national representation. 2004 was a good year for Cahill as he also won the Oceania Football's Confederation's Player of the Year award, edging out Socceroo team mates Schwarzer and Bresciano.
At the end of the day Cahill is an Australian and a proud member of the Socceroos. But make no mistake - after his performance this morning we can expect much adulation from all Samoans of the "Samoan midfielder" (as described in today's Observer) and his game-winning two goals.