Surprise kangaroo pitch invader stops soccer match in Canberra
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Surprise kangaroo pitch invader stops soccer match in Canberra

Forget goal-scoring hero Tim Cahill. If the Socceroos need someone to help them find the net at the World Cup in Russia, an unexpected pitch invader at an amateur game in Canberra might be the answer.

A Canberra women's premier league match was stopped for almost 20 minutes on Sunday afternoon as ground staff chased and kicked balls to a rogue kangaroo.

The kangaroo took up space in front of goals at Deakin Stadium.

The kangaroo took up space in front of goals at Deakin Stadium.

It was the third time in recent weeks kangaroos have jumped on to Canberra sporting fields, with players watching in amazement.

The latest incident happened in the exclusive suburb of Deakin, which is just down the road from Parliament House and close to the Red Hill reserve.

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Canberra FC and Belconnen United players were shocked to find the kangaroo filling in as a goalkeeper when they returned to the field after half-time.

The kangaroo jumped fences, took a lazy chance to lie down in between the goals and then went on a mad dash the length of the field before finding an opening and racing through the gate to escape.

At one point tentative staff rolled a ball towards the relaxed animal in an attempt to gently nudge him off the field.

The kangaroo instead did its best impersonation of Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan and stopped the ball before bounding away.

It returned to the field not long later, slicing past defenders and then heading for the exit. The footage was captured on a live stream for Bar TV Sports.

"Oh dear. We're getting close," said commentator Russ Gibbs when the kangaroo disappeared to the side of a building.

The jolly jumper then returned for one final cameo. "The kangaroo is on the field of play," Gibbs said.

"[It's] racing across the field, scattering players left and right, bearing down on goal."

That prompted ground staff to bring a ute on to the field.

"We're obviously trying to do the best thing for the kangaroo without hurting it ... and he's out of the gate and he's gone!"

The Socceroos will play their final World Cup group game when they clash with Peru on Wednesday (12am AEST).

There have been calls for coach Bert van Marwijk to put legend Cahill on the field to give the Socceroos some scoring power up front.

The Socceroos must defeat Peru and rely on France to defeat Denmark in the other Group C clash to advance to the next stage of the tournament.

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