A lot of games in the FIFA World Cup should have gone the ideal route. What is the ideal route you ask? It’s simple. A world-class European team or a South American team should have won their group-stage matches, but world champions, France, lost to Tunisia and the mighty Argentinians fell before Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, the scales could have tipped over in the favour of the Australians who pushed Argentina to the edge in the dying minute of their last 16 encounters.
And the player who almost pushed the game to extra time is now a record holder at a tender age. He is Garang Kuol, an 18-year-old Australian forward who plays for Central Coast Mariners in the A-League and is also the youngest Australian to represent his country at FIFA World Cup.
Koul started at the bench in the game again in Argentina but was sent to the pitch to give the Socceroos a fighting chance to bounce back against Leo Messi and co.
The moment arrived at the last minute when Kuol received a cross in the opposition box and, with a swift touch, got rid of his defender. The only thing left was a finish, but Argentinian goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez came lunging forward to deny Kuol and Australia an equalizer.
Kuol’s minimal time on the field was appreciated by the pundits who hailed his speed and accuracy against the Argentinians.
His abilities were previously noted when he played for the A-League All Stars against Barcelona earlier this year.
Newcastle’s manager, Eddie Howe, had been keeping track of this young talent who is now also the youngest player to play a World Cup knockout game since Pele in 1958.
Given his antics, the Magpies signed a pre-agreement with Kuol in September 2022, which would see the player arrive at the shores of England in the January 2023 transfer window.
This will be a tremendous leap for a promising young lad who will go toe to toe with the Premier League greats, weekend in and out. And clearly, the excitement has gotten ahold of this Australian player.
When the Australian national team returned after their loss to Argentina, the players were welcomed with loud cheers. Kuol, who posed for pictures at the airport, was seen wearing the Magpies’ current third kit, signalling his imminent arrival at the club.
However, there has been no official statement from Newcastle about Kuol, but the player is amped to play for Eddie Howe.
His airport act has created a buzz among the Newcastle fans who are already hailing him as one of their own.
After all, if it wasn’t for Kuol, Australia wouldn’t have come within a spitting distance to rob Argentina of a full 90-minute victory.