Returning striker Adam Taggart is one of nine changes to Graham Arnold's squad as the Socceroos prepare for crucial World Cup play-off matches.
Back from injury, Socceroos striker Adam Taggart is on a mission to fire Australia into this year's World Cup.
Socceroos Qualifying Squad
- The squad for the upcoming June matches were named.
- The Socceroos will play a friendly match against Jordan on June 1, 2022.
- The match will serve as a preparatory game ahead of Australia's must-win play-off game against the UAE, followed if successful by a must-win match against Peru should they win.
More Australian football news can be found on FTBL.
Taggart has been named in Graham Arnold's 29-man squad for next month's crucial Asian play-off against the United Arab Emirates in Qatar, one of several returning stars including Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic and Jackson Irvine.
It's Taggart's first call-up for the national team since October, with a knee injury ruling the 28-year-old out of the back-half of Australia's group stage matches.
In his absence the Socceroos went from leading the group to finishing third behind Saudi Arabia and Japan, forcing them into the June 7 play-off against the UAE.
The winner of that match goes on to face South American nation Peru on June 13.
CONFIRMED: Our play-off path to the @FIFAWorldCup has been locked in 🔒— Socceroos (@Socceroos) March 30, 2022
- Single-leg encounters
- Neutral territory
- A win over UAE would see us face Peru in an Intercontinental Play-off
- The winner advances to this year's tournament, starting in November#AllForTheSocceroos pic.twitter.com/TIILuzhuPy
"It's been obviously frustrating, after having such a positive and strong campaign up until the last sort of couple of camps, but these things happen. It's football," Taggart told the Australian Associated Press.
"This is the challenge we've got ahead of us now.
"Frustrating as those camps might have been and the results might have been, we've just got to look at it as a massive opportunity, an exciting opportunity.
"It's sort of an all-or-nothing scenario that we've got ourselves in.
"It's just important to go in there, make the most of it and enjoy it and make sure we get to the World Cup.
"You can't dwell on what's happened over the past few games and there's still to play for ... we just need to make sure that the way we view it is in a positive way."
Arnold has named nine players who weren't involved in the most recent qualifiers against Japan and Saudi Arabia, when a squad hit hard by COVID-19 withdrawals and injury lost back-to-back matches.
There are returns for Adelaide winger Craig Goodwin, Melbourne City forward Mathew Leckie and Central Coast defender Kye Rowles along with Taggart, Mooy, Rogic and Irvine.
Melbourne Victory fullback Jason Davidson has also been selected and could make his first Socceroos appearance since 2015.
As well as Taggart, Arnold's strikeforce is boosted by the return of A-League Men's golden boot winner Jamie Maclaren after he missed the Saudi Arabia game in March to get married.
Ajdin Hrustic also comes into camp on the back of his recent Europa League triumph with Eintracht Frankfurt.
Those call-ups however mean there's no place for Uruguay-born forward Bruno Fornaroli after his highly publicised debut in March with Connor Metcalfe, Ben Folami, James Jeggo and Rhyan Grant others to miss out.
Arnold has also overlooked Johnny Warren Medallist Jake Brimmer and Scottish-born Central Coast forward Jason Cummings.
Australia warms up for their must-win game against the UAE with a friendly in Doha against Jordan on Wednesday (Thursday, 4am AEST).
.@FIFAWorldCup Play-Offs 🔜— Socceroos (@Socceroos) May 28, 2022
Here are your Socceroos for the final phase of qualifying!
🇦🇺 v 🇯🇴 - International Friendly
Al Janoub Stadium, Doha, Qatar
2.6.22, 4am AEST
🇦🇪 v 🇦🇺
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Doha, Qatar
8.6.22, 4am AEST#AllForTheSocceroos pic.twitter.com/hFhTfMthMp
Nathaniel Atkinson, Aziz Behich, Martin Boyle, Nicholas D'Agostino, Jason Davidson, Milos Degenek, Kenny Dougall, Mitch Duke, Denis Genreau, Craig Goodwin, Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine, Fran Karacic, Joel King, Mathew Leckie, Awer Mabil, Jamie Maclaren, Riley McGree, Aaron Mooy, Andrew Redmayne, Tom Rogic, Kye Rowles, Maty Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Gianni Stensness, Adam Taggart, Marco Tilio, Danny Vukovic, Bailey Wright.
More news can be found using this link.