UAE clash: WC pressure nothing new for Kruse

Ahead of a pressure-filled World Cup qualifier with UAE on Tuesday, Australian striker Robbie Kruse pointed to the previous World Cup campaign for Brazil 2014.

Kruse was part of the last qualification campaign for Brazil 2014, one in which Australia took it to the last group game (ironically against Iraq in Sydney) before they qualified.

In their last three games, Australia drew 1-1 with Japan in Saitama (only conceding in the final minutes), thumped Jordan 4-0 in Melbourne and beating Iraq, famously, courtesy of Josh Kennedy's powerful late header. 

Former Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy celebrates scoring the goal that sealed Australia's place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

So, pressure World Cup ties are nothing new for the China-based forward as he looks to the clash with UAE on Tuesday, also in Sydney.

“The last qualifying phase we were under pressure too. We had to win two and draw the last one and one game was in Japan.

“And we managed to do that. 

"I’ve been part of a qualifying campaign before and nothing’s easy.

“There’s no easy game in world football anymore.

Robbie Kruse

“You look at teams in Europe, they struggle to so-called lesser nations as well.

“We have to try and adapt and it’s still firmly in our own hands.”


Australia’s best result so far in this group qualification campaign was a hard-earned 1-0 win over UAE in an extremely hot Abu Dhabi last September. 

It gives the Australians a clear mental advantage. 

Home support key against UAE

Caltex Socceroos: Group B results and ladder

“Yes, it was a difficult game. It was 45 degrees and difficult the style you want to play in those conditions.

Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring against the UAE in World Cup Qualifying.

“But we managed to do that quite well.

“They lost their [last] game so they’re needing to win this game. 

"We know that, so I’m sure playing at home in hopefully good conditions on a decent field is going to help us a lot," he said. 

The Caltex Socceroos tackle UAE in a crucial World Cup Qualifier in Sydney on March 28.  Click here for tickets