Football.com - everything football

Kennedy reflects on vital strike

By Football News



Australia's Josh Kennedy hailed the most important goal of his career as he struck against Iraq to send his country to the FIFA World Cup.

Kennedy had been on the pitch just five minutes when he headed home Mark Bresciano's cross in the 83rd minute, ensuring the Socceroos earned a 1-0 win and the three points they needed to reach Brazil.

Iraq had made things tough for Australia, defending well on a wet and uneven ANZ Stadium pitch.

It needed a brave decision by coach Holger Osieck to bring off talisman Tim Cahill for Kennedy to find the crucial goal for his side.

Speaking to Fox Sports after the match, Kennedy - having made his first appearance for the Socceroos since 2011 - was almost lost for words.

"I really don't know what to say… It was amazing. I'm just really proud of the boys and really happy with the goal," the striker said.

"I guess it was meant to be. The boss was just saving something for the last game… (It's) an amazing night."

Kennedy had struggled with injury over the past 12 months, with the goal a just reward for his battle back to fitness: "It's been a long road to get back where I am now, and this is the icing on the cake, definitely," he added.