After over two years away from Australia, the Socceroos returned for their first domestically-based game last month in Western Sydney.  They will play their next home match in Melbourne in late January.

Socceroos Qualifying campaign

  • Melbourne game will be second Socceroos home match to take place in Australia after their game against Saudi Arabia in Sydney last month. 
  • The Socceroos match against Vietnam will take place on January 27, 2022.
  • Australia is currently third in Group B of AFC Third Round World Cup qualifying.

More Australian football news can be found on FTBL.

The match against Vietnam will be held at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, also commercially known as AAMI Park, on January 27, 2022.  This will be the seventh game of the Socceroos' third stage of World Cup qualification, with three further games remaining in this round.

At present, a capacity crowd is expected to be allowed for the Victorian fixture.  It will be the first Socceroos match held in the city of Melbourne since September 2017.  Speaking at the fixture announcement, Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said:

“We’re delighted that the Socceroos, who have a long and proud association with the City of Melbourne and State of Victoria, will return to Melbourne late next month.

“Melbourne Rectangular Stadium is one of Australia’s best football-specific venues for both players and fans, so our focus will be to ensure that we put on an event that Melburnians, Victorians, and interstate visitors remember for years.”

“The Victorian Government have shown great support to bring this match to Melbourne, and we’re thrilled to be playing a central role in helping them kick-off their calendar of events for 2022 by playing a crucial qualification fixture in the State."

Johnson added that the match will require one change in the A-Leagues calendar to accommodate the scheduling:

“We also recognise Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC, and the A-Leagues for collaborating with us to move their UNITE A-League Men’s and A-League Women’s matchday from January 26, to January 25.

This cooperation will enable some of the biggest matches on the domestic football calendar to be played at the same venue as a major international match with just two sleeps between fixtures for fans."

While the Socceroos started their qualifying campaign off strong, breaking a World Cup qualifying record in October with eleven consecutive wins, they have struggled in their last three matches.  Their two losses and one draw dropped them to third in their qualifying Group.

Only the top two teams in each AFC third round group automatically qualify for the 2020 FIFA World Cup.  Should the Socceroos' position remain unchanged, they would have to proceed to a further play-off round to attempt to make it to Qatar.

Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold addressed the advantage the Melbourne fixture could give during the match's announcement:

“Many of our current and recent squad members have strong ties to Victoria, so I expect that they will be thrilled with today’s match announcement.

“The likes of Aziz Behich, Mathew Leckie, Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine, Denis Genreau, Jamie Maclaren, James Jeggo, and Bailey Wright each emerged through Victorian grassroots clubs, so the ties between the Socceroos and community football are strong.

“Every match in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying is crucial and we need all three points against Vietnam.

"Melbourne is home to one of the best fan cultures in Australia, so it would be great if fans can get the Stadium shaking on January 27 and provide the players with energy and support.”

Of the four games remaining in their qualification campaign, the Socceroos have previously been beaten by one of the nations they will encounter, Japan, have drawn with Saudi Arabia and have won against Oman and Vietnam.

They will be hoping to equal or better the 1-0 scoreline they previously claimed in their victory against Vietnam when they meet the nation again at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium next month.

Tickets are expected to go on pre-sale tomorrow, with sales to the general public opening on Thursday, December 16, 2021.  Further ticketing information can be found on the Socceroos website.  The match will also be available on Network 10, Paramount+ and 10Play.


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The full Socceroos schedule can be found using this link.