The Socceroos showdown with France at the weekend has plenty riding on the outcome for the hosts.
The Socceroos showdown with France at the weekend, though friendly by name, has plenty riding on the outcome for the hosts.
The result of Friday-s (Saturday morning AEDT) fixture will count towards FIFA-s World Rankings and the French need as high a ranking as possible ahead of their likely playoff for a FIFA World Cup berth.
As it stands, France are expected to concede automatic qualification to Group I leaders Spain, meaning they will progress to Europe-s second round of qualifiers - a tough two-legged playoff against a runner-up from another group.
The seedings for the second round will be determined by this month-s FIFA World Rankings - to be published in 17 October.
Presently, of the nations in line to qualify for the second round, France will fall just outside of the top seeds, meaning no shortage of motivation for a positive result against the Socceroos.
“I think the Socceroos, we always thrive on being the underdog and against Brazil we were the underdog but we got taught a big lesson,” said Socceroo midfielder Tommy Oar.
“If we want to be competitive at next year-s FIFA World Cup, these are the kind of games we need to show our worth and try and get some confidence in.
“I think, definitely, everybody-s out to prove a point.”
The Socceroos- last win in an international friendly was in November 2012, when an experimental line up triumphed 2-1 over the Korea Republic in Hwaesong.
Of several debutants that day, Mathew Leckie has had to wait patiently for another chance at international recognition.
On the back of strong form for club side FSV Frankfurt, the 22-year-old would relish such an opportunity against France.
“I-ve got to perform, firstly, in training, to show the boss that I-ve got something to give to the national team,” said Leckie.
“First and foremost, that-s what I need to do, I need to perform in the training sessions that we-ve got and then, of course, if I do get some game time, to do my best and try to be dangerous.”
Former Socceroos duo appointed as Wanderers W-League coaches
Former Caltex Socceroos duo Dean Heffernan and Michael Beauchamp have been appointed head coach and assistant coach of Western Sydney Wanderers' Westfield W-League side respectively... Heffernan, who made nine appearances for the men’s outfit during season 2013/14, replaces outg
Aussies Abroad: Mixed fortunes overnight for Ryan and Degenek
There were two Caltex Socceroos in action on Wednesday morning (AEST), with significant results playing out for Mat Ryan and Milos Degenek. Ryan’s Brighton & Hove Albion suffered an agonising late loss to Tottenham Hotspur in London, with an 88th-minute Christian Eriksen goal
Aussies Abroad: Two-year Danish Superliga record falls as Mabil's Midtjylland lose to Brondby
Awer Mabil’s hopes of clinching the Danish Superliga title with FC Midtjylland suffered a blow after a 2-1 loss to Brondby earlier this morning. Marc Dal Hende opened the scoring early for Midtjylland, but a swift equaliser from Simon Hedlund and a deflected winner from Jens M
Former Caltex Socceroos striker announces retirement
Former Caltex Socceroos forward and Adelaide United legend Bruce Djite has announced his retirement from football. Djite, 32, was most recently playing for Indonesian club PSM Makassar before returning to Australia last year. “I’ve had a few opportunities come up that inter