It has been a whirlwind 48 hours for Australia.
From the Socceroos to Nature Strip.
Let’s see how it all unfolded and what it means for the land down under.
Socceroos qualify for qatar
When the pressure builds, those who can stand up are the ones you endear yourself to.
Those who can deal with a thumping heart, adrenaline blood through their veins and adrenaline pumping through their body.
Graham Arnold was in a do-or-die scenario as head coach of the Socceroos.
Failure to progress from the qualifying group stage saw Arnold guide his squad front up its final chance to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
A late 2-1 win against UAE booked a fixture with the highly-fancied Peru.
As we have come to know so well with our Australian elite sportsmen and women, the fighting spirit of our nation is almost always instilled within them.
When you pull on a green and gold guernsey, you know you represent more than yourself.
You are the front for a nation that prides itself on winning on the global or even something as simple as backyard cricket or kick-to-kick.
Sent in as $4 outsiders, the Socceroos would hold the fort and win a famous shootout thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne.
Arnold moved to sub on Redmayne in the last minute of extra time.
It was gutsy to take off the first-choice keeper and captain, Mat Ryan.
But Aussies love a punt.
It’s either all in or all out.
Arnold’s sleight of hand with the 119th-minute substitution saw Redmayne save Alex Valera’s penalty attempt.
Yet another moment when the Aussie underdogs were triumphant against the odds.
Save for just under 24 hours later, and another Australian story was set to steal the headlines in newsrooms across the country.
Nature Strip demolishes rivals at Ascot
He was smashing those Americans like guitars.
It was the moment the Australian 4×100 freestyle medley team knocked off the more highly touted Americans at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Fast forward 22 years later, Australia versus America again, this time up the straight at Royal Ascot in the King’s Stand Stakes.
He is rated the best sprinter in the world, but Nature Strip was yet to prove his international doubters wrong because ‘he hasn’t won overseas.’
His main rival, Golden Pal, was said to be faster and more talented.
Even with a time-form rating peak of 129, it was still not enough to keep the Nature Strip pessimists at bay.
Trainer Chris Waller, main owner Rod Lyons and champion jockey James McDonald decided enough was enough.
It was time to send ‘The Strip’ to Royal Ascot to shut up those pesky punters and analysts abroad.
If 20 wins from 37 starts with nearly $18 million prize money was not enough, a win at one of the world’s most famous carnivals was enough to rubber-stamp him as a genuine freak.
It has been a decade since Australia last had a winner at Royal Ascot.
Black Caviar was our most recent triumph after she held on to win the 2012 Diamond Jubilee (1200m) thrillingly.
There were still sceptics of Australian sprinters even though our undefeated mare won despite tearing muscles and a pelvic joint in the run.
Nature Strip decided he would have his way with the doubters.
It was said USA sprinter Golden Pal was better than him.
It was said he would have legs run off by Wesley Ward’s spruik horse.
McDonald slung the Nicconi gelding forward after jumping nicely and had the race shot to bits at the 400-metre mark after Golden Pal missed the start.
The champion six-year-old gelding would go on to win by five lengths after exploding away with his devastating turn of gears we have been so accustomed to seeing.
The only thing spoiling the party was a riderless horse getting up to his girth at the finish post.
What a win.
What a performance.
What a horse.