Everything you need to know about our October opponents Kuwait

Graham Arnold will kick off his first match back in the Caltex Socceroos hot seat against Kuwait in October.

It comes twelve years after the Australia boss took charge of the side against the same opponent in the Caltex Socceroos' AFC Asian Cup Qualifier in August 2006.

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The Middle Eastern nation has been to the FIFA World Cup™ in 1982, and were AFC Asian Cup winners in 1980.

They will now serve as an important pre-2019 AFC Asian Cup test as the Caltex Socceroos look toward the defence of their title crown next January.

Here’s everything you need to know about our upcoming opponents.


Current FIFA ranking: 159

Coach: Romeo Jozak

Captain: Fahd Al-Ansary

History against the Caltex Socceroos

Australia's first meeting with Kuwait arrived in a 2-1 FIFA World Cup™ qualification group stage defeat in Sydney, 1977.

The Caltex Socceroos have since held a mixed record against the West Asian nation, winning four, drawing twice and losing four of the following 10 fixtures.

Most recently, the Caltex Socceroos opened their 2015 AFC Asian Cup campaign with a 4-1 Group A victory over Kuwait in Melbourne.

That result saw Tim Cahill, Massimo Luongo, Mile Jedinak and James Troisi on the scoresheet, and is the biggest margin of victory between the two nations.

Cahil
The Caltex Socceroos celebrate Tim Cahill's goal against Kuwait in 2015's AFC Asian Cup opener.

Recent form

Results have been mixed for The Blue Wave after their poor AFC Asian Cup showing three years ago.

An unsuccessful FIFA World Cup™ qualification campaign was followed by a group stage exit in the 2017 Gulf Cup while this year, Kuwait's 2-0 victory over Palestine in May is their solitary victory.

Kuwait's five matches

Jordan 1-0 Kuwait, March 3 2018

Kuwait 1-3 Cameroon, March 26 2018

Kuwait 2-0 Palestine, May 12 2018

Kuwait 1-1 Egypt, May 26 2018

Kuwait 2-2 Iraq, September 11 2018

Kuwait
Bader Al Mutwa shields the ball in last week's draw with Iraq.

Kuwait's key man 

Bader Al Mutwa is a Kuwaiti veteran of over 15 years now but still remains among the best strikers in Asia.

The 33-year-old originally burst onto the scene for Kuwait Premier League heavyweights Qadsiah and has since been nominated for Asian Footballer of the Year three times, finishing runner up in 2006 and third in 2010.

2010 also marked the year Al Mutwa finished as the International Federation of Football History & Statistics top goal scorer – an award that has been claimed by Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski in the following years.

Al Mutwa’s prolific striking ability has seen him linked with several notable moves to high-profile European clubs in the past, most notably Spanish outfit Malaga and Nottingham Forest, with whom he spent one month as a trialist in 2012.

While a natural goal scorer and finisher, Al Mutwa is also an enigmatic playmaker with a knack for a defence splitting pass. He’s also a sublime dribbler of the ball able to change direction and glide past players at will and looms as the central goal threat when the Caltex Socceroos arrive in October.

Kuwait
Bader Al Mutwa against the Caltex Socceroos in 2006.

Coach

Romeo Jozak was appointed head coach in July 27, 2018. A former player for Croatian outfit NK Orijent Rijeka, Jozak’s playing career came to an end at a young age due to injury.

The Croatian held the role of sporting director at Dinamo Zagreb for a four-month stint before taking charge of Polish heavyweights Legia Warsa in the 2017/18 season.

Did you know?

Kuwait’s 20-0 win over Bhutan in 2000 was the biggest ever victory in international football at the time, but it was surpassed a year later when Australia beat American Samoa 31-0.