Australia has made indelible mark

The world's biggest fiesta will run rampant in Brazil for another three pulsating weeks. Even though the Socceroos have left the party early, Australia has made an indelible mark on this FIFA World Cup.

Tim Cahill's wonder goal is still the popular choice as goal of the tournament, even though there's been more than 100 scored in the first two weeks.

The style and panache shown by the Socceroos has been applauded at home and abroad. Everywhere I've been in Brazil, the locals have nodded approvingly at the 'jogo bonito' produced by the Green and Gold. 

Who would have thought that Australians playing football could make such an impression in the spiritual home of the world game? Ange Postecoglou, his players and staff set out to do just that and deserve all the accolades.

The Aussie fans have been phenomenal. In Porto Alegre, we out-played the Dutch for long periods, but definitely out-sang the Oranje fans for 90 minutes.

The same happened in Curitiba, where the Aussies cheekily started the "Ole, Ole" as we confidently denied Spain possession in the opening minutes.

I hope the Spanish understand the sense of irony that runs through our culture, because I don't think there was any intention to disrespect the world's top ranked team. Then again, it was a reminder that the Aussies have ambition, and the courage to match.

By sheer weight of numbers, the Chileans probably made more noise than the Aussie fans in Cuiaba, but given the proximity to Chile it was always going to be like a home game for them.

At the Socceroos' training base in Vitoria, a lasting relationship has been formed with the people of Espírito Santo. From the government to the state football association, connections have been made that will endure.

FFA has held preliminary discussions about an exchange of coaches and tours by teams. If all goes according to plan, the Olyroos will in all likelihood set up in Vitoria if a place in the Rio Olympic Games can be secured.

The feel-good factor comes with a caveat, of course. As I've said before, results at World Cups are paramount and therefore we are all bitterly disappointed to go home with three defeats.

As the pain dulls a little, I'm sure everyone connected to Australian football will see the dividends of the campaign.

Importantly, we have completed the first stage of rebuilding the Socceroos. We have new coaches, new staff, new players.

Under Ange, a distinctive Australian way of playing is rapidly taking shape. There's a bond between all these elements; a revival of the Socceroos' culture.

FFA commenced this change process in October last year, and we've been trying to make up for lost time ever since. Eight months is a terribly short time in which to compress work that really needs years.

At least, we can take aim at the AFC Asian Cup on home soil in January knowing that the new Socceroos have been burnished by a ferocious initiation in Brazil.

 That's one certainty we know about our nation's finest. In the face of adversity, our young heroes find strength and resolve. They rise to the challenge. Go Socceroos!