Football 1 year ago

Luongo, Juric earn Socceroos win

  • Luongo, Juric earn Socceroos win

    SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Australia manager Ange Postecoglou looks on during the International Friendly match between England and Australia at Stadium of Light on May 27, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has urged Perth fans to play their part as Australia begins its final ascent to the 2018 World Cup at nib Stadium on Thursday.

The two countries last met at ANZ Stadium three years ago when Josh Kennedy's late header secured qualification for the 2014 showpiece in Brazil.

But it was the vocal Iraqi supporters that sang and cheered all night, providing most of the atmosphere in the 80,000-strong crowd.

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Ahead of tricky away days on the road to Russia, Postecoglou wants to hear vibrant home support that will rival what his side must endure abroad.

"It's a rectangular stadium with a big crowd hopefully one that's vocal and passionate," he said.

"We need that and we are certainly going to face that away from home ... they are going to be pretty challenging environments.

"The second game in UAE, whilst they may not be the vocal and passionate crowd, it's going to be 42 degrees.

"All of these kind of things we're ready to overcome but I'd love to throw some challenges at the opposition that weren't just about us.

"Hopefully we can have a really loud, vocal and passionate crowd behind us to intimidate the opposition. That'll help."

The stadium is almost a sell-out, with a few hundred tickets remaining on sale.

One end has been reserved for a large Iraq fan contingent of up to 1000 people.

Visiting coach Radhi Shenaishil said he felt "at home" playing matches away from Iraq given the enthusiastic Iraqi community abroad, and particularly in Australia.

Postecoglou's motivational tool could be striker Tim Cahill.

The Melbourne City man is in the squad and could start against Iraq despite a lack of recent game-time with the A-League yet to kick off.

"That is why he is here not just to do promotional events," Postecoglou said.

"He's done it in the past for us, and we will have a look at everyone. From our perspective and unless the medical people tell me otherwise, everyone is available."

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