Art by Tushar Dey
This winter, Australia will make its fifth consecutive appearance on the biggest international stage, having gone through the intercontinental play-offs after failing to qualify for the tournament directly. The Aussies beat both the UAE and Peru on a memorable route to Doha, with the game against the Peruvians, in particular, going down to the wire. The tie was eventually decided by penalties, where third-choice keeper Andrew Redmayne became a national hero. His antics and unique style of keeping forced the errors from Advincula and Valera, sealing the ticket for the World Cup.
But as Graham Arnold has said on multiple occasions, the job is not done yet. He wants his players to know that reaching the World Cup is a great achievement in itself, but it’s also just the start. The former Sydney FC coach believes that he has a special group on his hands that is capable of going out and nicking results from the very best. Their COVID-hampered qualification cycle also means that they are one of the few teams that are already comfortable with the unique conditions in Qatar, having played there three times in 2022, winning two and drawing one of the games. But despite their previous experience on Qatari soil, winning points in Group D will still be a hard task.
Australia will open the group against defending World Champions France, just like they did in 2018, when they lost 2-1 against Didier Deschamps’ men. After that, they will face Tunis at Al Janoub Stadium, before taking on Denmark – another rival from their group in Russia.
The 26-man squad for these group games (and beyond, if they do achieve the unthinkable and progress to the Round of 16) was revealed earlier this month. Graham Arnold surprised quite a few people with his decision to leave out experienced internationals like Tom Rogic (West Bromwich Albion), Trent Sainsbury (Al-Wakrah SC), and Adam Taggart (Cerezo Osaka). However, the biggest surprise was the exclusion of Nagoya Grampus…
Source link : https://www.footballparadise.com/socceroos-in-qatar-all-eyes-on-the-green-and-gold/
Author : Petar Petrov
Publish date : 2022-11-22 13:28:53
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