Socceroos be taught path to 2026 World Cup qualification

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The Socceroos’ first steps en path to a sixth-straight World Cup have been revealed after they have been drawn in a qualifying group with Palestine and Lebanon.

The winner of a two-legged playoff between the Maldives and Bangladesh in October will make up the fourth staff in Group I after the draw was made at Asian Soccer Confederation headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Graham Arnold’s males will play home-and-away fixtures from November to June subsequent yr and wish solely to complete second of their group to advance to the following spherical and likewise safe automated qualification for the 2027 Asian Cup in Saudi Arabia.

“Understanding our path to qualification now permits us to turn out to be rather more particular with our planning and preparation within the lead as much as November’s qualifiers in opposition to both the Maldives or Bangladesh,” Arnold mentioned.

“Each Lebanon and Palestine will pose stern opposition for us, notably on the street in entrance of their passionate followers, so making certain we take advantage of our dwelling matches shall be key to qualifying prime of the group.”

The 2026 World Cup match, which shall be co-hosted by Canada, USA and Mexico, expands from 32 to 48 groups for the primary time.

Asian nations are set to revenue from the variety of automated qualification spots growing for the World Cup from 4 to eight.

Australia’s first dwelling qualifier shall be in opposition to the playoff winner in November.

It then travels to face Palestine away in the identical window earlier than the main focus turns to January’s Asian Cup in Qatar.

The Socceroos will face Lebanon in dwelling and away fixtures within the March window earlier than internet hosting Palestine, which seems to be their closest challengers to ending prime, in June.

Australia defeated Palestine of their final assembly on the 2019 Asian Cup however the nation has a powerful diaspora of expertise to attract upon.

Lebanon has solely performed Australia as soon as, with the Socceroos triumphing 3-0 in Tim Cahill’s farewell recreation in 2018.

-AAP


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