It’s judgement day.
Australian’s are no strangers to the surreal feeling on the last day of qualifying. The feeling of hope, belief, anticipation and a little bit of fear will be evident against Thailand in Melbourne tonight.
A spot at the 2018 World Cup in Russia is on the line, and Australia will need to win big. It’s a funny thing when you look at Australian national teams from different sporting codes. They all seem to share a similar trend. Australia has never had a problem being named underdogs, showing enormous adversity to create some of the biggest upsets in sport. Often, our biggest downfall has been against our minnows. It seems as though our players are still working out how to be ruthless, and ‘put teams away’.
WHERE AUSTRALIA STAND:
Right now, Australia sit third in World Cup qualifying, after Japan gained a WC spot after defeating them 2-0. It leaves the Aussies in an uncomfortable position, equal on points with second place Saudi Arabia. The one major key separating the pair is goal difference, which the Saudi’s lead by two goals.
Normally, you could bet your house on Japan trumping Saudi Arabia, but not today. With Japan already qualified, and Saudi Arabia just one home game away from an automatic spot in Russia, there really is no favorite. Australia experienced the fortress that was King Abdullah stadium, failing to take all three points. It is likely that Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic will play an experimental side, and test the waters in their last competitive game before the World Cup next year.
Australia need goals, however Thailand will be no walkover tonight at Aami Park. Golden boy Tim Cahill believes the flood gates will open tonight.
“We have to believe in the structure and process, but goals will definitely come,” says Cahill.
“I’m confident we’ll score a lot of goals and we’re confident we’ll make a great account of ourselves.”
That draw against Thailand earlier in the campaign has proved to be costly for the Aussies.
- Recent history favors them however, with five wins and just one draw in their previous six meetings.
- Thailand have also conceded 10 goals in their last 4 away games.
Rather than scrutinize Australia’s embarrassing performance against Japan, it’s important for fans to get behind the Socceroos and help get their team over the line.
Tonight, we'll have a full house backing us.
— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) September 4, 2017