Ultimate Guide: Socceroos road to 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
Qualifying for a FIFA World Cup™ is a long and arduous journey but the Socceroos have made a perfect start in their quest to get to Qatar in 2022.
Graham Arnold’s troops have won four from four in their first phase of qualifying to sit in a strong position heading into a jam-packed 2020.
The Socceroos are aiming to qualify for their fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup™ finals tournament and – along with 39 other AFC nations – will need to navigate through two qualifying phases to do get there.
Following the announcement that the upcoming qualifiers in March and June have been postponed, we break down all the key things you need to know on the journey to Qatar 2022.
How do we qualify?
There’s 40 nations involved in this phase of qualifying which have been split into eight groups, each featuring five countries.
Those five nations will compete in a round-robin format playing each other nation twice, with four games at home and four away, as well as two byes.
The Socceroos will need to finish as one of the eight group winners, or four best runners-up, to advance to the final round of AFC qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
The 12 countries that advance will be split into two groups of six for the next phase of AFC qualifying, where four teams – the top two from each group – will automatically book their spot in Qatar.
Two other nations will then battle it out through an Asian play-off round and an intercontinental round to try and be among the 32 nations to play at the global showpiece tournament.
This is a scenario the Socceroos know all about, having defeated Syria and Honduras in the playoff rounds to book their spot at the 2018 competition in Russia.
Fixtures – so far and what's to come
The Socceroos have made a dream start to this phase of qualifying, winning all four matches played in 2019, with three of those coming away from home.
Arnold's side have scored an impressive 16 goals at an average of four per game, conceding just the one, while also achieving a bit of history in November with the Socceroos' first ever win in Jordan.
September 2019 – FIFA Window: 2-10 September
- Thursday 5th September – bye
- Wednesday 11th September – Kuwait 0-3 Socceroos
October 2019 – FIFA window 7-15 October
- Thursday 10th October – Socceroos 5-0 Nepal
- Tuesday 15th October – Chinese Taipei 1-7 Socceroos
November 2019 – FIFA Window: 11-19 November
- Friday 15th November – Jordan 0-1 Socceroos
- Tuesday 19th November – bye
Dates still to be confirmed
- Socceroos v Kuwait
- Nepal v Socceroos
- Socceroos v Chinese Taipei
- Socceroos v Jordan
How to watch
Every Socceroos FIFA World Cup qualifier will be shown LIVE on Fox Sports.
You can also keep up to date with all the goals and action in our LIVE MATCH CENTRE on socceroos.com.au.
What happened in the last cycle?
Australia’s long and winding journey to the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ set a new benchmark that may never be eclipsed.
The Socceroos had to get through 22 qualifying matches on the road to Russia, the most by any nation to qualify for world football’s biggest tournament.
In doing so, they clocked-up an incredible 240,000 kilometres as they criss-crossed Asia numerous times before the final intercontinental play-off round.
Ange Postecoglou’s side scored an impressive 51 goals along the way, starting impressively in the first phase of qualifying as they cruised through the group stage.
But a couple of draws on the road and a loss to Japan in the penultimate game meant Australia finished third in the group behind the Samurai Blue and Saudi Arabia.
A nail-biting 3-2 aggregate win over Syria in October 2017 booked a winner-takes-all match-up with Central American nation Honduras.
After a goalless first leg on the road, a packed ANZ Stadium welcomed the Socceroos home with skipper Mile Jedinak’s hat-trick resulting in a 3-1 win and ensured Australia booked their ticket to Russia.