The Socceroos face another tricky test against Palestine on Friday in Dubai with Graham Arnold’s men needing to kickstart their faltering AFC Asian Cup 2019 group campaign.
The two sides have a history, of sorts, with a touring 'Palestine' visiting Australia to face a Socceroos B side in 1939.
The commentary was hardly the standard of today’s callers, and the standard somewhat lacklustre, but this British Pathe report (above) documents the extraordinary opening match on July 8, 1939, won 7-5 by Australia at the old Sydney Cricket Ground in front of just under 15,000.
It was a five “test” series across Australia and played in front of some big crowds for the time.
With Jimmy McNabb in goal and Jack Hughes up front, the Australians entertained the home fans throughout the series, scoring 18 times.
However, as pointed out by www.ozfootball.net (credit: John Punshon and Greg Stock), whilst the Australian public understood the opposition to be Palestine, the tourists were in fact the club side, Macabbi Tel Aviv.
After the opening 12-goal thriller, the teams headed to Brisbane a week later where second-half goals to Roy Crowhurst and Jack Hughes canceled out the tourists’ opener for a 2-1 win to the hosts.
The visitors, however, won their only game of the tour in game three, a 2-1 win back at the ‘G’ on July 22.
The tour rolled on to Newcastle on July 29, where in front of 11,000 fans, a brace to Alf Quill, Crowhurst and Jim Wilkinson handed the Australians a resounding 4-1 victory at the old Newcastle Sports Ground.
The final game of the tour was at St Kilda Oval in Melbourne. And what a way to end the tour. An eight-goal classic ended 4-4 on August 5.
George Smith scored twice with Jack Hughes and A.White on target for the Aussies. No scorers were available for the tourists.
In total, 31 goals were scored over the five games. Australia won the series by winning three games, losing once and drawing one.