At first glance, Australia’s standing in Group B doesn’t look all that hot; in third place after two matches , behind Iraq on goals scored, and five points off leaders Japan.
At first glance, Australia-s standing in Group B doesn-t look all that hot; in third place after two matches , behind Iraq on goals scored, and five points off leaders Japan.
Of course, the table doesn-t paint the complete picture but it does illustrate that the Qantas Socceroos- results in this round of qualifying so far leave some room for improvement.
The scoreless draw against Oman in Muscat wasn-t Australia at their best; the 1-1 draw against Japan in Brisbane certainly was. But with only one goal scored so far - a penalty against Japan - Holger Osieck-s side need to show more killer instinct in their upcoming game against Jordan if they want to stake their claim for second place.
This will be the first time the two sides have ever faced each other, but Osieck will note that Japan managed to put six goals past Al Nashama (“The Brave”) in June, even if it was in Saitama.
The Blue Samurai are certainly group favourites at the moment, with seven points from three games, 10 goals for and only one against.
With the difference in time zones putting their game against Iraq on at a more suitable viewing time on 11 September, Australia fans should certainly have one eye on the Japan result, with a home fixture looking like another three points in the bag.
The Lions of Mesopotamia have been stable thus far, with 1-1 draws against Oman and Jordan, but a trip to Saitama against the world No.22 might just be too much.
Oman sit in fourth place, and with just two points and having already played three games, qualification looks a big ask for Paul Le Guen-s side.
And Jordan, the Qantas Socceroos next opponents, aren-t faring much better, with the thrashing at the hands of Japan weighing heavily in their goals against column as they bring up the rear.
No trip to the Middle East should ever be considered easy but the trip to Ammam is a chance for Australia to make their mark in Group B.
Next Group A Fixtures: Jordan v Australia, 11/09 (2am, 12/09 AEST), Amman Japan v Iraq, 8.30pm (AEST) 11/9, Saitama
The Qantas Socceroos face Lebanon in an international friendly at Beirut-s Sports City Stadium, at 8.30pm local time (3.30am AEST, Friday, 7 September).
Following that, the Qantas Socceroos resume their FIFA World Cup qualification campaign against Jordan in Amman, at 7pm on Tuesday, 11 September (2am AEST, Wednesday, 12 September).
The Qantas Socceroos return to Australia in 2013, for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman at Sydney-s Stadium Australia at 7.30pm, Tuesday, 26 March, followed by Iraq, at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 18 June.
Tickets for both matches at Stadium Australia are on sale now through Ticketek or via phone, 132 849.
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