‘Home Advantage Is A Big Thing’: Socceroos Challenge Saudi Arabia

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It was an issue that some in the Socceroos camp were eager to address, and rightly so.

“They’ve have been fortunate [in] that they’ve played all their World Cup qualifiers at home except for Oman,” coach Graham Arnold said on match day minus one. “We’ve played 11 out of 12 games away from home, they’ve played 11 out of 12 games at home.”

They are Saudi Arabia, the opponents on Thursday night. Opponents who are three points ahead of Australia in Group B. Opponents that have not lost a match on the route to Qatar 2022 during this period, achieving such results either within their own country or close across the border.

In addition, opponents who have never triumphed on Australian soil are relevant. Both teams will compete on the same ground at Commbank Stadium in Sydney, with a lot riding on the outcome. The Socceroos’ good fortune stems from the fact that they haven’t lost a World Cup qualifier at home in a long time — 4,890 days to be exact.

Pim Verbeek rested his stars with the confidence that the next phase of qualifying for South Africa 2010 was ensured when Australia lost 1-0 to China in a dead rubber on June 22, 2008.

source : guardian sport

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