I spent my childhood surrounded by kids of European and South American backgrounds, being taunted by them about Australia's (and, by implication, Australians') complete absence from the soccer World Cup. Whenever it rolled around the Italians, Croatians, Brazilians, Uruguayans, Chileans etc would cheer on their national sides, and laugh at our failure (again) to even qualify.
Earlier this morning Australia's Socceroos played their first World Cup game since '74. Behind for a good portion of the match they put in a tremendous effort in the last 20 mins, finally scoring in the 84th minute of the game. A second goal in the 89th minute put us in front; and a sealer in the 92nd minute made it comfortable.
It may be an overstatement to say we've come of age, but we've certainly proven we belong.