Socceroos to play Ghana and China in Sydney

The defining moment of the Australia’s 2010 World Cup campaign could take place in Sydney after today’s announcement of two blockbuster matches in May and June that will be presented by FOXTEL.

2010 WORLD CUP DESTINY COULD BE DECIDED IN SYDNEY

The defining moment of the Australia-s 2010 World Cup campaign could take place in Sydney after today-s announcement of two blockbuster matches in May and June that will be presented by FOXTEL.

Australia will prepare for June-s vital 2010 World Cup qualifiers with an international match against African heavyweights Ghana at Sydney Football Stadium on Friday 23 May which will be a fitting prelude to the prestigious FIFA Congress that meets in Australia on 29 and 30 May.

In addition, the final of four matches in the current phase of 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign will see the Socceroos up against China at ANZ Stadium on Sunday 22 June.

FOXTEL is principal presenting sponsor for both matches while FOX SPORTS will provide exclusive telecast coverage.

"The FFA is delighted that the May/June period will see football front and centre with the FIFA Congress and an exciting schedule of Socceroos matches," said CEO Ben Buckley.

"Ghana is one of the top 20 nations in the world and will provide us with ideal preparation ahead of the four vital World Cup qualifiers to follow."

Ghana has long been regarded one of the top nations in African football and, in addition to reaching the final 16 at the 2006 World Cup, they have been crowned African champions on four occasions. The ‘Black Stars-, who are currently the highest ranked African team at 15, boast a number of major European-based stars including Michael Essien (Chelsea), Sulley Muntari (Portsmouth) and Stephen Appiah (Fernerbahce).

"I-d like to acknowledge the support of the NSW Government which has proved once again to be great supporters of football," Buckley added.

In the first two matches of the 2010 qualification journey, Australia defeated Qatar 3-0 in the opening match in Melbourne in February, and drew 0-0 away to China last week.

If Australia finishes in the top two in the group they currently lead, they will progress to the fourth and final phase of Asian qualifying where they will be in a group of five nations with the top two progressing to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The FFA also confirmed that the first of the four World Cup qualifying games to be held in June will be against Iraq at Brisbane-s Suncorp Stadium on Sunday 1 June.

All the Socceroos matches will be shown live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.

FOXTEL is the presenting partner of Australia's World Cup qualification journey.

Socceroos MATCH SCHEDULE

Australia v Ghana International Friendly Friday 23 May 2008 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney

Australia v Iraq 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification Match Sunday 1 June 2008 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Iraq v Australia 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification Match 7 June 2008 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Qatar v Australia 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification Match 14 June 2008 Doha, Qatar

Australia v China 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification Match Sunday 22 June 2008 ANZ Stadium, Sydney

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