As the Socceroos face a very important FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia™ qualifier with Jordan in Sydney this March, coach Ange Postecoglou wants to send a message to their AFC rivals by soundly beating their group rivals.
It was confirmed today that the Socceroos’ final game of their opening stage of qualification will be held at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Tuesday March 29.
Currently leading Group B, the Socceroos take on Jordan in a match that has major implications on the final group standings.
“It’s an opportunity for us to really finish this first phase really strongly. We’re on top of the group and we want to stay there,” Postecoglou told FFA TV.
“More importantly, our home performances have been really strong in this group stage and we want to continue that and create an environment where teams really fear coming to Australia and playing us.
“Obviously Jordan has done really well in our group, they are the closest opponent on the ladder and if we can be really emphatic against them it will send a message to everyone.
“Any time we play at home is a special time but being in Sydney and at Allianz gives us another great opportunity to create some more great memories and obviously it’s a very important game,” the Socceroos boss said.
“The one thing that did strike us playing Jordan away was just the atmosphere and energy their crowd generated and looking forward to hopefully giving them some of their own medicine in that game.”
The clash against Jordan will come just a few days after Australia take on Tajikistan at the Adelaide Oval in their penultimate group game.
The Socceroos’ only defeat of the group stage so far came via a 2-0 defeat to Jordan in Amman in October, with the upcoming clash in Sydney the perfect opportunity to gain some revenge.
It’s also the venue where Postecoglou began his tenure as Socceroos boss back in November 2013, a match the Green and Gold won 1-0 against Costa Rica.
Asked to measure the team’s growth since then, Postecoglou said: “The team has certainly developed over that time.
“It’s been a journey, it hasn’t been a journey without its hiccups and without its challenges, and we’ve had some really big ones.
“From that first game, we got off to a promising start beating Costa Rica that night but if you look at the makeup of that team it’s had a tremendous shake up since then.
“At the end of it, considering where we’re placed right now, Asian Cup winners and top of our group so far in the World Cup stage, it’s been some real good progression.”
And if the side can continue that progression with another dominant home showing against Jordan, Postecoglou predicts another memorable night for home fans.
“I love playing in front of our home crowds. As a national team coach, the away games is where it’s always a struggle and sometimes you come out battle scarred,” he said.
“But when you’re at home in front of your home supporters and the whole ground is singing the national anthem, regardless of where you play in Australia, it’s always a special occasion.”