Ultimate Guide: Everything you need to know about September's Round 3 Qualifiers

The Socceroos' next step of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifying is on the cards in early September - where every win takes us a step closer to the world stage. 

It's been a long qualification journey, but in the coming months it will be all to play for in the final phase of Asian Qualifiers.  

Eight wins from eight over an 18-month period saw Graham Arnold's side off to a perfect start - one they will be hoping to maintain as they face their toughest challenge yet. 

Read on to find out everything you need to know about the upcoming action.

Aus v China

The match schedule 

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Final Round)

Australia v China PR
Date: Thursday, 2 September 2021
Venue: Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Kick-off: 9pm local (4am AEST – Friday, 3 September 2021)
Broadcast: Live and free in Australia on Channel 10 – pre-game coverage from 3.30am AEST

Vietnam v Australia
Date: Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Australia’s first match of September’s FIFA window will take place at Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium on Thursday, 2 September 2021 at 9pm local time. The game will be broadcast live and exclusive in Australia on Network 10.

The Socceroos’ second fixture of the forthcoming FIFA window is scheduled to take place against Vietnam on Tuesday, 7 September 2021, with kick off at 10pm AEST.

Games in the third round are scheduled to be played on the following match days: 2 September 2021, 7 September 2021, 7 October 2021, 12 October 2021, 11 November 2021, 16 November 2021, 27 January 2022, 1 February 2022, 24 March 2022 and 29 March 2022.

Due to the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation, match locations and times will be confirmed in the lead-up to each window. 

Day/Date

Match

Thursday, 2 September 2021

AUSTRALIA v China PR

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Vietnam v AUSTRALIA

Thursday, 7 October 2021

AUSTRALIA v Oman

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Japan v AUSTRALIA

Thursday, 11 November 2021

AUSTRALIA v Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

China PR v AUSTRALIA

Thursday, 27 January 2022

AUSTRALIA v Vietnam

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Oman v AUSTRALIA

Thursday, 24 March 2022

AUSTRALIA v Japan

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Saudi Arabia v AUSTRALIA

How to watch

Australia's match against China PR will be the first broadcast on Channel 10 as part of Football Australia’s new four-year agreement with 10 ViacomCBS. 

Fans can watch exclusive pre-game coverage from 3.30am AEST, with kick off set for 4am. 

The Socceroos' second September fixture against Vietnam will also be broadcast via Network Ten, with further details to be confirmed. 

HOW TO WATCH - Australian audiences 

HOW TO WATCH - International audiences

HUB

The Squad

Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold has announced the 27-man squad set to represent Australia in its first two FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Final Round) fixtures throughout September.

Australia’s squad for its upcoming matches against China PR and Vietnam will assemble in Doha, Qatar over the next 48 hours ahead of next week’s Final Round opener against China PR at the Khalifa International Stadium.

The Socceroos’ squad has been selected almost exclusively from Australian players based at clubs overseas, with Rhyan Grant from Sydney FC the only A-League-based player to be called up for the commencement of the crucial final phase of qualifiers.

Several other A-League players were in contention to feature in the squad, however challenges surrounding quarantine, and personal factors, have resulted in August/September’s Socceroos squad featuring players predominately from overseas-based clubs.

Name Club, Country 'A' International Caps (Goals
Daniel ARZANI Lommel SK, Belgium 6 (1)
Aziz BEHICH Giresunspor, Turkey 41 (2)
Martin BOYLE Hibernian FC, Scotland 7 (3)
Milos DEGENEK Red Star Belgrade, Serbia 31 (1)
Kenneth DOUGALL Blackpool FC, England 3 (0)
Mitchell DUKE Fagiano Okayama, Japan 9 (4)
Callum ELDER Hull City AFC, England 0 (0)
Denis GENREAU Toulouse FC, France 1 (0)
Rhyan GRANT Sydney FC, Australia 14 (0)
Ajdin HRUSTIC Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany 7 (1)
Jackson IRVINE FC St. Pauli, Germany 37 (6)
Paul IZZO (Gk) Xanthi FC, Greece 0 (0)
James JEGGO Aris Thessalonki, Greece  5 (0)
Awer MABIL FC Midtjylland, Denmark  17 (4)
Ryan MCGOWAN Kuwait SC, Kuwait 21 (0)
Riley MCGREE Birmingham City FC, England  3 (0)`
Aaron MOOY  Shanghai Port FC, China 43 (6)
Tom ROGIC Celtic FC, Scotland  47 (9) 
Mathew RYAN (Gk) Real Sociedad, Spain  61 (0)
Trent SAINSBURY KV Kortrijk, Belgium 50 (3)
Brad SMITH Seattle Sounders FC, United States of America 22 (0)
Harry SOUTTAR  Stoke City FC, England  5 (6)
Ryan STRAIN Maccabi Haifa, Israel 0 (0)
Adam TAGGART  Cerezo Osaka, Japan  12 (6)
Lawrence THOMAS (Gk) SønderjyskE Fodbold, Denmark 1 (0)
Danny VUKOVIC (Gk) NEC Nijmegen, Netherlands  4 (0)
Bailey WRIGHT Sunderland AFC, England 24 (1)

The draw

The Socceroos will take on Japan, Saudi Arabia, China PR, Oman, and Vietnam in the Final Round of AFC Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, after the draw for the Final Round was conducted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The draw saw Australia pooled in Group B of qualification, with Group A containing IR Iran, Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

With the draw for the Final Round of qualifying now complete, the Socceroos’ path to Qatar 2022 is clear. To qualify for a fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup™, Australia must finish either first or second in Group B, which includes ten matches to be played from September 2021 to March 2022, to qualify directly.

A third-place finish would send the Socceroos to a play-off against the third-place team from Group A, followed by an intercontinental play-off.

 

The journey so far 

Australia has made a perfect start their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, advancing through their first group in perfect fashion. 

Wit the first four matches played in late 2019 and final half of the group played out in June 2021, the Socceroos secured eight-straight victories: with seven of those coming away from home.

Graham Arnold's side notched an impressive 28 goals at an average of 3.5 per game, while conceding just the two.

A 3-0 win in Kuwait kicked off the campaign, as Mathew Leckie bagged a memorable brace and Aaron Mooy curled home a stunner to ensure the result.  

A month later, the Socceroos returned home to Canberra where they played out a comfortable 5-0 victory over Nepal. Jamie Maclaren stole the show with his first international hat trick, while Harry Souttar instantly endeared himself to the Australian fans with a brace on debut.  

Five days later, the squad travelled to Chinese Taipei where they secured their most emphatic result so far, overcoming the home nation 7-1 at Kaohsiung National Stadium. Adam Taggart, Jackson Irvine and Souttar all registered braces, as Ajdin Hrustic came off the bench to chip in with a trio of assists. 

Socceroos Jordan
During the Socceroos' return to action in June 2021, seven players were handed their international debuts

Exactly a month later, it was a whole lot closer when the Australia travelled to face Jordan in Amman. But Arnold's side managed to get the job done in difficult conditions, with a solitary Adam Taggart goal ensuring the Socceroos would return home with a priceless three points. 

When the full time whistle blew on that night in November 2019, no one would have suspected that the Socceroos would wait another 18 months before returning to action. 

But that was exactly the case, as the Asian Qualifiers finally resumed within a hub based in Kuwait City. 

Despite the lengthy intermission, Australia would come away with another four important victories to ensure they sealed top spot in Group B and advanced to within striking distance of a fifth-straight FIFA World Cup Finals appearance.