It was the second consecutive FIFA World Cup where the two sides had played each other for a place in the tournament. On the first occasion in 2001, Uruguay won 3–1 on aggregate. The draw for determining the order of the home and away legs was made at a FIFA congress on 10 September 2005. Australia finally won a FIFA World Cup play-off after losing to Scotland (1986), Argentina (1994), Iran (1998) and Uruguay (2002).
Australia qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals in Germany and were drawn into Group F with defending championsBrazil, Croatia and Japan. After beating Japan 3–1 in their opening match, Australia lost 2–0 to Brazil and in the final match they also drew 2–2 with Croatia, finishing second in the group on four points. In the Round of 16, Australia were defeated 1–0 by the eventual champions, Italy.