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Australia face New Zealand in their final friendly before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

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Sep-25 03:16 first published at 03:16 AM


After giving his World Cup qualifying heroes a chance to thank their home fans with a 1-0 win over New Zealand on Thursday, Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold is now using the second friendly in Auckland to put his squad’s depth and versatility to the test. With almost all of his senior players expected to return to their clubs after the first match in Brisbane, Arnold is expected to give a number of senior debuts and much-needed minutes across the field, including to a handful of youngsters who will likely be the Socceroos’ face for years to come. Follow everything that happens in our liveblog below. Important occurrences Approximately 9 minutes ago Sun, September 25, 2022, 2:28 a.m. New Zealand bids farewell to a legend. seventeen minutes ago Sunday, September 25, 2022, 2:20 a.m. Line-ups! 29 minutes previously Sun, September 25, 2022, 2:07 a.m. Howdy! Updates in real time Right now Sun, September 25, 2022, 2:36 a.m. Samantha Lewis’s What exactly is the point? Samantha, it’s great to see you back on the live blog.

As you’ve mentioned, the Twitterverse isn’t thrilled with the starting lineup.

Given the squad announced for today’s game, who would you start?

I’m also glad we’ve finally capped #CumDingo, which I’m sure will confuse the trending topics around the world.

Best wishes, and keep up the good work.

Robdogs87 –

Thank you, Robdogs87. The ABC hasn’t discovered that I’m a tangle of lizards in a trenchcoat, so hopefully I can keep the disguise. In terms of the Socceroos squad, I believe Arnold has been conservative – but within reason. When you think about it, the goal of this game is to put to the test the players who are genuine’maybes’ for Qatar, not necessarily those who are seeing the Socceroos for the first time. While it would be fantastic to see Kuol and Cummings play, Arnold should use this opportunity to observe the players he has already been watching for the past year, such as Atkinson, Genreau, McGree, and Tilio. I’m sure Kuol, Cummings, and Devlin will make an appearance, but given that this is the team’s final friendly before Qatar, I don’t blame Arnold for prioritizing that. What are your thoughts? 9m ago Sun, September 25, 2022, 2:28 a.m. Samantha Lewis’s Important Occurrence New Zealand bids farewell to a legend. This will be the All Whites’ first home game in nearly five years, and it will be a game of mixed emotions for the team. Winston Reid, New Zealand’s legendary captain, announced his retirement from international football after missing out on World Cup qualification against Costa Rica in the other inter-continental play-off. He begins today in what will be his final match in front of his home crowd. New Zealand’s Winston Reid will play his final international match against the Socceroos today. (Photo: Getty Images) ) Another notable inclusion is Bill Tuiloma, who did not play in Brisbane but has made waves in the MLS with the Portland Timbers, the same league in which Socceroos defender Milos Degenek plays. Aside from those two, the lineup is largely the same as the first friendly. Personally, I thought the Kiwis performed better than expected, particularly in midfield and wide areas. Matt Garbett and Elijah Just both had outstanding games. This appears to be New Zealand’s best possible lineup; they most likely want to give Winston the proper send-off he deserves. 17m ago Sunday, September 25, 2022, 2:20 a.m. Samantha Lewis’s Important Occurrence Line-ups! And we have our first appearance! Korea-based central defender Harrison Delbridge becomes Socceroo #623 with his first start, partnering Japan-based Thomas Deng in central defence. Former A-League Men full-backs Nathaniel Atkinson and Joel King flank them, with a completely new midfield made up of Connor Metcalfe, Denis Genreau, and Riley McGree. Mat Leckie, as expected, starts on the wing (and with the captain’s armband!) opposite Melbourne City teammate Marco Tilio, while Mitch Duke leads the line. I had a great interview with Dukey for my Socceroos In The Spotlight series a few weeks ago, and he was very candid about this World Cup being his last chance. If you want to read something while we wait for kickoff, you can do so here. He has an intriguing backstory. Meanwhile, what do you think of this starting XI? Is Arnold too conservative? Who do you want to see? 29m ago Sun, September 25, 2022, 2:07 a.m. Samantha Lewis’s Important Occurrence Howdy! Kia Welcome to ABC Sport’s live coverage of Australia’s second and final friendly against New Zealand, which begins at 1:00pm AEST at Eden Park in Auckland. This is shaping up to be one of the most exciting Socceroos matches in a long time. With almost the entire starting XI from Thursday’s first friendly returning to their clubs early, head coach Graham Arnold is now planning to reach into his extended bench and give a number of fringe players one last chance to book their ticket to Qatar in less than two months. Seven players are completely uncapped, including St Mirren duo Keanu Baccus and Ryan Strain, 18-year-old sensation Garang Kuol, Fulham youngster Tyres Francois, cult hero Jason “Cumdog” Cummings, Incheon defender Harrison Delbridge, and Hearts midfielder Cameron Devlin, while ten others have ten or fewer caps. Garang Kuol (left) and Jason Cummings could make their Socceroos debuts against New Zealand today. (Photo: Getty Images) The most experienced player remaining in the squad is 72-cap Mathew Leckie, who came off the bench on Thursday and almost scored a ripping counter-attacking goal, but there’s a pretty significant drop-off to the next most-capped player in Milos Degenek (37), who flew into Brisbane literally the day before the first game. You’d think they’d be two of the older, wiser heads who begin today to try to herd the cats that are their younger team members. The overwhelming reaction from fans following the somewhat underwhelming first friendly is that the Socceroos desperately need some new faces and new energy in what has become a fairly predictable line-up. This will be the game to test exactly who that could be.

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