Goodwin declares he is 'ready to go' for Tuesday's record clash in Canberra

Craig Goodwin says he’s feeling good ahead of Australia’s tie with Lebanon on Tuesday night, with the winger unfortunate to miss out on the first leg in Sydney.

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The Subway Socceroos suffered two injuries to their left side in Thursday’s match against Lebanon.

Riley McGree was replaced by Jordan Bos 16 minutes in, and then Bos needed to be replaced by Ajdin Hrustic just before halftime.

Goodwin said he felt Australia coped well despite the early setbacks as they went on to win the match 2-0 at CommBank Stadium.

“From a team perspective, I thought we adjusted quite well with coming out onto the left and still managing to create some good moments,” Goodwin said.

“It is obviously disappointing for both of them [McGree and Bos] because they're really important to the squad."

“Hopefully, they're okay. But hopefully, I can come in and fill that void that's been left on the left-hand side now.”


The experienced winger missed Australia’s first match against Lebanon earlier this window, suffering from illness.

“It was quite frustrating as I started the travel to come over, I started feeling a bit sick and had some symptoms on the plane,” Goodwin said. 

“I landed, spoke to the doctor and went and got seen and had a bit of a virus so I had to sit tight to not bring it into the camp and affect more players and affect the games that we've got.

“I'm here now and I'm ready to go and looking forward to the game.”

Goodwin’s potential re-introduction into the team presents coach Graham Arnold with an option to solve his left-side dilemma for Tuesday.

Goodwin said he hopes he will be available for Arnold and is eager to contribute in whatever way he can.

“We'll see how we go in today's training and then the training tomorrow and see where we go from there,” he said.

“I'm feeling pretty good but we'll have to see in the two training sessions and have that conversation. But I'm here in whatever capacity I can contribute in.”

The 32-year-old also said he was looking forward to playing in Canberra in front of what will be a record crowd for a standalone football game in the ACT.

Harry Souttar made his debut in the green and gold the last time the team played in the capital, back in 2019.

The defender scored a brace to mark the occasion, with Goodwin picking up the assist for his first.

“To know that it's going to be a sellout or is going to be or be the biggest crowd that we've played in Canberra is going to be fantastic,” Goodwin said.

“Hopefully, it's a very noisy and atmospheric crowd for us, and us players always feed off of that energy, when it's a big crowd and that energy is there."

“This is what we want as a nation being able to go to different parts of Australia by hitting large numbers of support and really tapping into all the Socceroos supporters across the country.”

Goodwin said the team are targeting another strong performance against Lebanon, hoping to see further improvement.

He also said he is expecting a similar challenge from their opponents who proved difficult to break down on Thursday.

“I think it's really important that we put in another good performance,” he said. 

“With a change of formation with two up top and a little bit of a change of system, I thought we saw some really good things the other night, but there is also a lot of things to work on as well.

“I've obviously played a lot in the Middle-Eastern region and know the style of football quite well.

“They always look to sit in but when you score that early goal, then they do make the game become very stretched. It kind of throws their game plan out the window and they have to come out and be a bit more aggressive.

“I think we'll experience a similar thing on Tuesday night, a similar style, and it's up to us to be better with the ball and be better in terms of breaking them down.

Australia takes on Lebanon on Tuesday night at GIO Stadium, hoping to maintain their perfect 2026 World Cup qualifying form. 


Subway Socceroos 2:0 Lebanon
Thursday, 21 March 2024
CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-off: 8.10pm AEDT

Lebanon v Subway Socceroos
Tuesday, 26 March 2024
GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 7.45pm AEDT
Tickets: Start from $15 Child, $20 Concession, $25 Adult, and $50 Family via Ticketek
Broadcast: 10 Bold, 10 Play and Paramount+