To qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year, the Caltex Socceroos will have to go through the playoffs after Ange Postecoglou’s men ended third in Group B overnight.
CONFIRMATION OF PLAYOFF
Australia will now meet Syria in October over two legs in the AFC playoff after a mammoth night (and morning) of drama, passion and excitement in Melbourne and Jeddah to complete Group B’s final matchday.
Saudi Arabia finished second after a 1-0 win over Japan in Jeddah.
Australia defeated Thailand 2-1 but it wasn't enough in the end.
So, if Australia are to qualify for the next World Cup they'll have to do it the hard way now.
The winner of the AFC playoff will face another playoff against the fourth best side in the CONCACAF group.
GOOD START IN MELBOURNE
Australia began the night earning the three points needed after defeating Thailand in Melbourne on Tuesday night (AEST) 2-1.
So, it was over to Jeddah for Saudi Arabia hosting Japan.
There the equation was relatively simple: the Saudis needed to win to progress as automatic qualifiers given they had a better goal difference than Australia.
A draw or a loss wouldn’t be good enough for Bert Van Marwijk’s Green Falcons.
And after the Samurai Blue sealed World Cup qualification last week, hopes were high that Australia might be helped by a draw or win to Japan.
It wasn’t to be.
SAUDIS WITH FAMOUS WIN
The Saudis were revitalised in the second half after a subdued opening 45, and went ahead just after the hour with a smashing strike by young substitute Fahad Al Muwallad.
The home side, willed on by a 62,000 plus crowd at the King Abdullah could sense it.
In the end they won 1-0 and finished just a whisker ahead of Australia on the same points but with a better goal difference.
For Australia, the route to World Cup qualification just got a whole lot more complicated.
Caltex Socceroos to face Korea Republic in Brisbane in November
Football Federation Australia (FFA), the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council today announced that the Caltex Socceroos will host Korea Republic in an international friendly match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, 17 November 2018. FFA CEO David Gallop was
How to get your tickets to see the Caltex Socceroos' play Korea Republic
Don’t miss your first chance to see Graham Arnold’s new look Caltex Socceroos live in action in Australia. Australia head to Brisbane for the first time since 2015 to take on Asian football powerhouse Korea Republic. ANNOUNCEMENT: A new era rises in Graham Arnold's first ma
A long standing rivalry: Caltex Socceroos’ history against Korea Republic
The Caltex Socceroos are set to fine-tune their preparations for their AFC Asian Cup title defence next year with a high-profile friendly against the Korea Republic in Brisbane. These two nations have forged quite a rivalry over the years – who could forget their last meeting
Caltex Socceroos to play Korea Republic in Arnold's first home game
The Caltex Socceroos will face fellow 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists Korea Republic in Graham Arnold’s first game on Australian soil. The new Head Coach will take his team to the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, 17 November for a re-match of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Final