Win against Qatar imperative says North
Defender Jade North believes it’s imperative that the Socceroos win next week’s game against Qatar in Doha, so to avoid a must win game in Sydney a week later against China.
Dubai: Defender Jade North believes it-s imperative that the Socceroos win next week-s game against Qatar in Doha, so to avoid a must win game in Sydney a week later against China.
With all four teams in Group 1 still in contention for the two qualifying places, this week-s fifth round of matches in this phase of World Cup qualifiers could prove pivotal.
A win by either Australia or Qatar, will virtually guarantee their qualification to the next phase, while a draw, will still see both teams remain level at the top, but allow both Iraq and China the chance to close the gap, if either win in Tianjin, a few hours earlier.
“It-s very important we get the three points and vital we get that top position,” North said, after a light session for the players, who too part in the Saturday-s 1-0 loss to Iraq in Dubai.
“It-s our future; it-s our World Cup and this is the first stage of it, so it-s a must win for us and we don-t want to go playing China at home, trying to get a result.
“Even if they can-t qualify, they will want to knock somebody off that can qualify.”
North admits that achieving a win in Doha will not be easy and since the 3-0 win in Melbourne, Qatar-s performances have improved dramatically, especially with Sebastian Quintana in the side.
“I have heard a little bit about them, but we-ll do a lot of video work and homework on them this week,” he said. “They are going to be a better team than they were when they came to Australia and obviously we are playing them in their back yard.
“It-s very difficult conditions over here, so it-s going to be tough.”
North also learnt that incumbent captain Lucas Neill, who he had formed a good partnership with in the earlier qualifiers, would not be coming for the Qatar, but is confident the players in camp will do the job.
“I didn-t know that,” he said rather stunned. “I thought he was coming.
“It-s going to be tough, but we-ve been playing together, a few us boys at the back there for a while now and we are starting to get to know each other-s games a lot better as we play every game now.”
North believes the defensive unit regrouped well after a less than flattering performance in Brisbane, but as luck would have it, they ended up losing this game. He was also full of praise for Chris Coyne-s debut performance.
“Defensively there were a few things that we had to work on, so that-s what we did at training and I thought we defended quite well. It was a very unlucky goal but I suppose that-s football.
“We gave them a few chances in the last game and to hardly give them any chances and they score that unlucky goal is pretty heartbreaking; that-s football and something we will have to take away.
“It was unfortunate but we are just looking forward to the next game anyway.
“He (Chris) was good; he-s a good leader; he doesn-t stop talking on and off the field. He is great for us and showed a lot of experience out there last night and what we need for the upcoming games.”
As for North himself, the Newcastle Jets Championship winning captain, is getting more and more comfortable with life as a national team players and wants it to continue.
“As every game goes by, I am just more and more confident. I love putting the green and gold on and hopefully I would like to think I am doing a good job.
“I am still in the team and hopefully I can keep that going for a longer time yet.”
New dawn, new goal-scoring style says Arnold
Australia coach Graham Arnold has declared his Caltex Socceroos side will look to develop a new style in order to score more goals ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. It’s something of a new dawn for international football in Australia, with the FIFA World Cup™ in the rear-view m
Caltex Socceroos to face Korea Republic in Brisbane in November
Football Federation Australia (FFA), the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council today announced that the Caltex Socceroos will host Korea Republic in an international friendly match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, 17 November 2018. FFA CEO David Gallop was
How to get your tickets to see the Caltex Socceroos' play Korea Republic
Don’t miss your first chance to see Graham Arnold’s new look Caltex Socceroos live in action in Australia. Australia head to Brisbane for the first time since 2015 to take on Asian football powerhouse Korea Republic. ANNOUNCEMENT: A new era rises in Graham Arnold's first ma
A long standing rivalry: Caltex Socceroos’ history against Korea Republic
The Caltex Socceroos are set to fine-tune their preparations for their AFC Asian Cup title defence next year with a high-profile friendly against the Korea Republic in Brisbane. These two nations have forged quite a rivalry over the years – who could forget their last meeting