Football Australia’s preparations for next week’s key AFC FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifier against Japan at Stadium Australia in Sydney will ramp up this week, with several key milestones on the road to the meeting that must take place.
Tomorrow, the Socceroos squad for the team’s March games against Japan (home) and Saudi Arabia (away) is set to be named by Australian head coach Graham Arnold, while this weekend, the first of a huge contingent of Japanese media traveling to cover the qualifier will hit Tokyo.
With just eight days to go at Stadium Australia, the Socceroos know that direct qualification for this year’s FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar remains firmly at their feet. However, the team will likely need to win both games this month to gain access to the showpiece of world football and avoid having to navigate the play-offs in June, as Australia did for Russia 2018. .
Arnold’s squads will arrive at Camp Sydney between Sunday and Tuesday next week ahead of Thursday’s clash with Japan at Stadium Australia – the scene of so many famous and iconic Socceroos and Australian sporting moments in the past.
Arnold said he was delighted the players were arriving at camp and signaled that new faces could pass through Sydney’s arrivals halls ahead of the showdown.
“The players and staff are in good spirits and are excited about the opportunity that is before us this month,” Arnold said.
“With a play-off spot for June already locked in, if needed, we see this camp as a win-win window – we have the opportunity to qualify straight away with great performances in Sydney and Jeddah, but regardless of how long together will be beneficial as our players only have limited periods together in the colors of the national team.
“We will finalize the squad, which should feature new energy, today before tomorrow’s squad is announced,” he said.
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The clash between Australia and Japan is set to be covered from all angles across the continent and internationally next week, with a large contingent of Japanese journalists due to arrive in Sydney for the encounter.
With Australia’s international borders now open, more than 60 Japanese photographers, journalists and TV crew members will land in the New South Wales capital for the competition.
A total of over 140 media will be present at Stadium Australia for the match, which will be broadcast live and free in Australia on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play in prime time.
Next Thursday’s game will represent the Australian 17and match in their quest to qualify for Qatar 2022. In two Asian qualifying stages, the Socceroos have won 12 matches, drawn three and lost one, marking three of the 16 qualifying matches played so far taking place on foreign soil.
Next Thursday’s clash with Japan will be Australia’s fourth and final home qualifier ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.
2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Final Round)
Day 9: Australia v Japan
When: Thursday, March 24, 2022
Location: Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia
Kick-off: 8:10 p.m. AEDT
Tickets: Tickets available from Ticketek
Broadcast: Live and free in Australia on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play