Tim Cahill has called upon Melbournian's to make the difference when Australia's FIFA World Cup qualification hopes go on the line against Jordan.
Qantas Socceroo lynchpin Tim Cahill has called upon Melbournian's to make the difference when Australia's FIFA World Cup qualification hopes go on the line against Jordan on Tuesday.
Since Australia's stirring 1-1 draw with Japan in Saitama, interest in the Jordan showdown has spiked in the Victorian capital, with pre-match ticket sales indicating a near-capacity crowd will witness what could be the defining match of the Qantas Socceroos' qualification quest.
"The feeling that I've had in Melbourne is just fantastic," said Cahill
"The way that everyone's embracing the game and to know that they're going to pull the stands in closer to the pitch - add more for the fans - is pretty special for us as well.
"We got the feeling in Japan, 62,000 people and the lift that they got when they scored the goal knowing that they'd qualified for a FIFA World Cup.
"This is the second last step to qualifying for a FIFA World Cup, I feel this is the most important game and it all rides on this result."
Cahill boasts an impressive record at Docklands Stadium, having netted on each occasion a Gulf nation has visited Melbourne's 50,000-seater.
Cahill was on target against Qatar in Australia's historic first ever FIFA World Cup qualifier as an AFC member in February 2008, before netting the match winner against Oman in an AFC Asian Cup qualifier in October 2009.
"I'm excited, I really get the sense and the feel from the fans walking around Melbourne, being with you guys (the media), even you believe as much as we do after Japan," said Cahill, who also found the back of the net twice against Japan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground four years ago.
"There is a sense that we could have done better in the past games but everyone wants us to do well.
"There's no negativity, everyone's really positive."
Cahill's Melbourne record aside, the Qantas Socceroos' recent history in Australia makes for impressive reading.
Australia last tasted defeat on home soil when an experimental line up suffered a 1-0 loss to Kuwait in Canberra in March 2009.
Since that match, the Qantas Socceroos have put together fifteen home matches without defeat, including twelve wins and only eight goals conceded.
Tellingly, under coach Holger Osieck, Australia hasn't been defeated at home.
"For us it's just making sure we concentrate on really going that extra mile to really put them under pressure and make them feel uncomfortable at our place," said Cahill.
"It's just one of those scenarios, we've been here a few times, two FIFA World Cups, we've played on some big stages together and it's all about hopefully producing the goods on Tuesday night."
The Qantas Socceroos will conclude the current stage of Asian qualifiers upon their return home, firstly to face Jordan at Melbourne-s Docklands Stadium on Tuesday, 11 June. Kick off is at 7pm AEST.
Finally, the Qantas Socceroos will host Iraq at Sydney-s Stadium Australia on Tuesday, 18 June. Kick off is at 7.30pm AEST.
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