Football 10 months ago

Sydney to host WC18 qualifier against UAE

  • Sydney to host WC18 qualifier against UAE

    ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - SEPTEMBER 06: Mark Milligan of Australia talks to Khamis Esmaeel of UAE during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between UAE and Australia at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium on September 6, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Australia will host the United Arab Emirates at Sydney's Allianz Stadium in March in a crucial World Cup qualification match.

The March 28 match follows a tough trip to Iraq a week before, with three Russia 2018 qualifiers after that fixture.

The match is a possible sweetener after Football Federation Australia's decision to gift Melbourne City hosting rights in their FFA Cup final against Sydney FC.

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"The Socceroos defeated Jordan in front of 25,000 fans at Allianz Stadium in March this year and I'm sure the people of Sydney will get behind the team," FFA CEO David Gallop said in a statement to News Corp Australia.

"The road to Russia is heating up and this will be a critical match in the campaign.

"When we play at home in Australia, we need to make the most of the opportunity on and off the pitch."

The Socceroos, who sit second behind Asian qualification Group B leaders Saudi Arabia, head to Bangkok next month for a clash against last-placed Thailand.

Following the March home tie against the UAE, Australia will host the Saudis in June before an away match with Japan the following month.

The Socceroos' qualification wraps with a home game against Thailand in early September.

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