The games were played on 31 October and 17 November 1993 in Sydney and Buenos Aires respectively. Australia was hoping to play in the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1974, and Argentina was hoping to qualify after reaching the FIFA World Cup Final three times in the previous four FIFA World Cups. The only time that Argentina failed to qualify for a FIFA World Cup was in 1970. This qualification play-off notably immediately followed Argentina's 5–0 defeat by Colombia at home in Buenos Aires on 5 September 1993. The crowd of 43,967 who watched the first leg played at the Sydney Football Stadium was at the time a stadium record crowd for any sporting event.
The series were notable for being the first time Argentina had to play a qualification play-off match in their history. Moreover, the series saw the return of Diego Maradona to the national team after a long dispute with manager Alfio Basile. Some years later, Maradona suggested that drug tests were deliberately avoiding during the series, stating that "to play against Australia, the Association gave us a 'fast coffee'" to drink before the match.