LIVE: The Socceroos take on New Zealand in a landmark game that celebrates the centenary of the Australia national team – and also marks the last home game for coach Graham Arnold’s men ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Socceroos’ very first game was on June 17, 1922, losing 3-1 to New Zealand in Dunedin.
After Thursday night’s clash in Brisbane, which kicks off at 8pm AEST, the teams travel to Auckland for a second game at Eden Park (Sunday 1pm AEST).
This is the first time the teams have met since Australia won 3-0 in Adelaide 11 years ago.
In total, the teams have met 63 times, with the Socceroos winning 39 against New Zealand’s 13, with 11 games ending in a draw – and just two of those without a goal.
“There’s no such thing as a friendly,” Graham Arnold told Channel 10 ahead of the game, “especially against New Zealand.”
New Zealand narrowly missed qualifying for Qatar in a play-off, while the Socceroos defeated Peru on penalties in their own play-off.
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Socceroos vs. New Zealand All Whites
Date: Thursday 22 September 2022
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 8pm AEST
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As part of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Australia men’s national team, Football Australia has announced a Socceroos team of the century – a squad that includes two current internationals in captain Mat Ryan and midfield maestro Aaron Mooy.
The ceremonial team, chosen in part by legions of Socceroos fans, also had as coach 75-year-old Guus Hiddink – the man who ended Australia’s 32-year World Cup exile in 2006 and guided the Socceroos to the last 16.
Current Socceroos manager Graham Arnold was Hiddink’s assistant at the time – and was also named to Team of the Century as an assistant – and reunited with his former mentor in Brisbane this week.
Hiddink has been brought in to help Arnold’s Socceroos with their final preparations for the World Cup, while in Europe Arnold’s regular assistant coach Rene Meulensteen is scouting France and Denmark in this international match – two opponents Australia face in Group D in Qatar.
“Guus will bring some strong messages to the players today and tonight about what he has achieved and what it takes to be successful at a World Cup,” Arnold said earlier this week.
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Arnold has named a very strong starting XI for the clash, suggesting he will face France, Denmark and Tunisia in the group stage of the World Cup.
Captain Mat Ryan is in goals.
Veterans Milos Degenek and Trent Sainsbury start at the heart of defence, with Fran Karacic and Aziz Behich on either side.
In midfield, Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine and Ajdin Hrustic appear to form a triangle.
Up front, Adam Taggart will lead the line, with Awer Mabil on the left and Martin Boyle on the right.
Remarkably, it is Taggart’s first appearance for the Socceroos on home soil, having made all 16 of his previous appearances away from home. It is also his first appearance for the green and gold since October 2021.
Arnold has named an unusually large 31-man roster for this final pair of games and is expected to name two very different starting XIs for each game. He hinted to the media that he plans to ban “10 or 11” players from traveling to New Zealand for the second game – likely players from abroad so they can return to their clubs early and prepare for their domestic competitions next resume weekend.
That means these players are likely to be favored for tonight’s clash, with the Australia-based players set to have their moment in the sun on Sunday. Australia’s A-Leagues men’s competition hasn’t started yet, meaning Arnold isn’t under any pressure to get his players back to their club immediately.
“On Sunday it will be young and new players…” Arnold told Channel 10 before the clash.
The squad is without Tom Rogic, who has not played since his recent move to West Bromwich Albion, while recent Socceroos, including Craig Goodwin, Nick D’Agostino and Jason Davidson, have also been left out. Daniel Vukovic, Kenny Dougall, Gianni Stensness and Callum Elder are absent, as are centre-back duo Harry Souttar and Kye Rowles, both recovering from injury.
The squad consists of seven uncapped players, including 18-year-old breakout star Garang Kuol, who has played just a handful of games off the bench for Central Coast Mariners but is currently being watched by a host of European top clubs.
The other uncapped players are Cameron Devlin, Jason Cummings, Ryan Strain, Harrison Delbridge, Tyrese Francois and Keanu Baccus.
Mitch Langerak; Andrew Redmayne; Matthew Ryan
Nathaniel Atkinson; Aziz Behich; Harrison Delbridge; Milos Degenek; Thomas Deng; Fran Karacic; Trent Sainsbury; Ryan tribe; Bailey Wright; Joel King
Keanu Baccus; Cameron Devlin; Tyrese François; Ajdin Hrustic; Denis Genreau; Jackson Irvine; Riley McGree; Connor Metcalfe; Aaron Muoy
Jason Cummings; Martin Boyle; garang kuol; Matthew Leckie; AwerMabil; Adam Taggart; Marco Tilio; Mitchell Duke; Jamie Maclaren