Striker Tomi Juric says has some wonderful memories playing at Stadium Australia and will call on those ahead of the Caltex Socceroos’ make-or-break World Cup playoff against Syria.
Tuesday night’s clash is just the second time Australia will return to play at the venue since their historic AFC Asian Cup win over South Korea in 2015.
Juric played a key role in Australia’s 2-1 win in extra-time, coming off the bench to set-up the match-winner for fellow substitute James Troisi.
And when Juric runs out against Syria to keep Australia’s 2018 World Cup hopes alive, he admits that magical night well be at the forefront of his mind.
“Definitely. That was some of the best times in my career and I’m sure in a lot of the other boy’s careers, to win something for the country,” Juric told reporters on Sunday.
“Let’s not forget that it was first trophy we ever won, the first piece of silverware. That’s something special to really take forward.
“We got a lot of confidence from that, so coming back home where it all happened, I’m sure we can get this game started off on the right foot.”
Given the energy-sapping conditions and heavy pitch in Malaysia, coach Ange Postecoglou is expected to make a few changes to his starting XI in Sydney.
The likes of Tim Cahill, Tom Rogic, James Troisi, Jackson Irvine and Massimo Luongo were all kept in reserve in Malaysia.
With just five days between matches, Juric expects Australia’s fresh legs to be significant against a tired Syrian outfit.
“That’s going to be the difference for us in this game. We’ve got boys that can come in and make a difference,” the FC Luzern striker said.
“They’ll be fresh and raring to go. They were probably disappointed that they didn’t start the last game but I’m pretty sure the boss [Postecoglou] has a reason for that and that’s to be really sharp in this one.”
Asked if the side was feeling any added pressure heading into the winner-takes-all second leg, Juric said: “I wouldn’t say we feel more pressure but we haven’t been in this situation before, it’s something new for us that we have to deal with.
“I think it will bring us closer together and make us stronger. I’ve said before that Australians like to choose the hard road to go down. It’s nothing new for us, I’m sure we’ll get the job done.”
Van Marwijk: Socceroos must create more chances against Denmark
Bert van Marwijk says a repeat of the performance against France is the bare minimum for the Socceroos as they look to keep their FIFA World Cup™ hopes alive against Denmark on Thursday night (AEST). Australia takes on Denmark at 10pm on Thursday in Samara – live on SBS and Op
Press conference: van Marwijk and Behich talk ahead of Socceroos v Denmark
Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk and Aziz Behich have fronted the official pre-match press conference ahead of Australia’s crucial Group C clash against Denmark in Samara on Thursday night (AEST). After a first-up loss to France on the weekend, the Socceroos will be chasing all
UPDATE: 2018 FIFA World Cup™ broadcast details
Optus has announced that all the remaining group matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ will now also be simulcast on free-to-air TV on SBS. The decision was announced on Wednesday afternoon as the Telco deals with issues surrounding their service, including dropouts and other fa