The Socceroos first faced Hungary back in 1997 at the Nepstadion in Budapest where Aurelio Vidmar scored a brace in a 3-1 victory. While that year is more remembered by nightmares, it was one of many dominant performances from the Socceroos as the seeds of the golden generation were sewed.Ā 

So who lined up under Terry Venables almost 22 years ago?


John FilanĀ 

It was his second and last cap for the national team as the 27 year-old lined up between the sticks. Filan had donned the colours of Blackburn Rovers for the season after leaving Premier League club Coventry City.

Rovers were in the Champions League group stage for the season but Filan never managed any game time. He went on to play over 150 games for Wigan Athletic.Ā 

He was recently named League One side Shrewsbury Town's assistant manager.Ā 


Robbie SlaterĀ 

Positioned at right wing-back for the match against Hungary, a 32 year-old Slater was coming towards the end of his international career. He was plying his trade under Graeme Souness, the Saints had just escaped relegation from the Premier League.Ā 

While the Hungary match was Slater's 19th international for Australia he hadn't yet scored in the green and gold. Belatedly that was to come only a few months later in a 13-0 shellacking of the Soloman Islands.Ā 

Steve HorvatĀ 

The 26 year-old Australian defender earned his ninth cap for the Socceroos against Hungary in 1997 having just moved on from Croatian giants Hajduk Split.Ā 

Horvat had joined up with Carlton Soccer Club in their inaugural season in the National Soccer League (NSL) in which they finished runners up to Victorian rivals South Melbourne. He then tried his hand with Crystal Palace to no avail before returning to Carlton.Ā 

Unfortunately in 2000/01 season Carlton SC folded eight rounds into the season. Horvat retired in 2003 at the age of 32 and is now a member of the West Melbourne Hyundai A-League bid.Ā 

Tony PopovicĀ 

In his 19th game for Australia Sydney United's 24 year-old centre back was stationed alongside Horvat and Tony VIdmar.Ā