Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou has described Australia’s draw for the first stage of World Cup qualifiers through Asia as “interesting” and a “challenge” for his Asian Champions.
The Socceroos have drawn some familiar and not so familar opponents in Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh in their first stage of FIFA World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018.
“The draw is certainly an interesting one and throws up some games against unfamiliar countries but the first phase of qualifying is about us and making sure we maintain our high standards on and off the field,” Postecoglou said after the draw ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday night.
“Over the past 18 months we have taken great pride in being the best we can be on and off the field and we will face some logistical and footballing challenges but we will continue to work hard to make sure we are ready for whatever challenges we face.”
Teams will compete according to a double round- robin format, with the Round 2 qualification matches being held from June 11, 2015 to March 29, 2016.
The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
Australia’s first home game is against Bangladesh in Perth on September 3.
“We now have to prepare for Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Tajikstan and Jordan and continue our journey," he added.
“We have another eight international matches to continue to give the core of the squad more experience while offering some opportunities to younger players to ensure we build depth.”
Socceroos vs Bangladesh
Thursday 3 September, 2015
Kick Off 7.00pm
Gates Open 5.30pm
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