Australia’s 3-0 triumph over Lebanon in Beirut was just the tonic needed ahead of Tuesday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Jordan, according to lynchpin defender Sasa Ognenovski.
Australia-s 3-0 triumph over Lebanon in Beirut was just the tonic needed ahead of Tuesday-s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Jordan, according to lynchpin defender Sasa Ognenovski.
With over a dozen caps to his name to go with his lone goal against Uzbekistan in the semi final at last year-s AFC Asian Cup in Qatar, Ognenovski has quickly become an integral pillar of Australia-s push to earn a place in Brazil in 2014.
Of Australia-s eight qualification matches to date, Ognenovski has featured in four, with the Qantas Socceroos recording two wins and two draws.
Ognenovski is expected to again play a role at the King Abdullah International Stadium on Tuesday, when the Qantas Socceroos- FIFA World Cup qualification quest recommences.
“It-s brilliant (the mood in the Qantas Socceroos camp), we knew that we had to really focus in this camp, unfortunately we didn-t against Scotland and we got punished for it,” Ognenovski said.
“We knew that we had to bring our A-game into Lebanon and obviously into Jordan as well.
“We-re hoping for an even better performance against Jordan.”
Ognenovski-s stay in the Middle East will extend beyond Tuesday-s clash in Amman, with the 33-year-old to return to domestic duties with Qatari club Umm-Salal.
Umm-Salal only narrowly avoided relegation from the top-tier Qatari Stars League last season and in a bid to make more of an impression in 2012/13, has captured Ognenovski as their headline recruit among nine new faces.
Ognenovski-s arrival in Qatar comes on the back of over 100 appearances - many as captain - with Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in Korea-s K-League.
The outstanding success achieved by Ognenovski in Korea included one AFC Champions League title and one Korean FA Cup to go along with recognition as Asian Player of the Year in 2010.
Qualifying for a FIFA World Cup after debuting for the Qantas Socceroos at 31 years of age would be a fitting cap to what has been an astonishing few years for the former Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United defender.
“Coming into this, we know it-s a World Cup qualifier, we know that we can-t afford to slip up in any way so we-re really looking forward to the game and you-ll see a really focused team out there on the park,” Ognenovski said.
“From what I-ve heard coming out of Qatar, they-re (Jordan) a very strong team, they-ve got a great forward structure that gives most teams headaches.
“That-s obviously some good information that we got and we can use that and make sure that we-re focused and ready for anything they throw at us.”
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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