What's next for the Socceroos?

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Men's Football Tournament out of the way, attention now turns to the Socceroos' next step of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifying. 

In a month's time, the qualification journey continues. 

With the likes of Harry Souttar, Riley McGree, Denis Genreau, Connor Metcalfe and Mitchell Duke all with an Olympic campaign and their belts, they - and many more promising youngsters - will be pushing for a Green and Gold shirt at senior level, as the Socceroos begin the final stage of their journey towards a fifth-straight World Cup Finals appearance.

Eight wins from eight over an 18-month period saw Graham Arnold's side off to a perfect start - one they will look to maintain in the coming months. 

Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming action. Keep an eye out on Socceroos.com.au and the Socceroos social media channels for further details as they emerge. 


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 match schedule 

Alongside the draw, the AFC have released a match schedule - with match locations and times to be confirmed. 

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.

"It is always great when you have got some clarity around things and now we can start planning," Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold said.

"One of the biggest things obviously is being able to play our games in Australia, and if we can do that, or we can’t. That is one thing that the organisation (Football Australia) will get some clarity on over the next week or so, and then it is about playing either at home, or playing away from home.

"We’ve still got those things in front of us to look at and deal with but overall it is a great Draw.”

AFC Asian Qualifiers – Round to Qatar (Final Round) Match Schedule         




Thursday, 2 September 2021



Tuesday, 7 September 2021



Thursday, 7 October 2021



Tuesday, 12 October 2021



Thursday, 11 November 2021

AUSTRALIA v Saudi Arabia


Tuesday, 16 November 2021



Thursday, 27 January 2022



Tuesday, 1 February 2022



Thursday, 24 March 2022



Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Saudi Arabia v AUSTRALIA


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.