Australia Has Honour Of Facing Host First Up
Australia will have the honour of facing host nation Germany in the opening match of the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup after being drawn in pool A of the tournament this morning.
Australia will have the honour of facing host nation Germany in the opening match of the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup after being drawn in pool A of the tournament this morning. The match will double as the official opening of the Wald Stadium in Frankfurt with the venue also set to host the tournament final on June 29.
The Socceroos have been placed in a tough group for the tournament with the Australians lined up against South American giants Argentina and African champions Tunisia in addition to the Germans. The 8-team tournament will be held June 15-29 in Germany.
Australia's full draw is:
Australia v Germany, 15 June, Frankfurt
Australia v Argentina, 18 June, Nuremberg
Australia v Tunisia, 21 June, Leipzig
National coach Frank Farina, who attended the draw, said "Either group was going to be tough. To get Germany in the opening game as the hosts is a great thing. I'm really excited by that and the players will be excited by it when they see the draw." "It's tough having Germany and Argentina first and second but it if we are serious about where we want to go we need to be able to compete with these sides." "The Confederations Cup is a great test for us with the Solomon Islands (World Cup qualifier) and then South American world cup qualifiers later in the year. Playing Argentina will be a good indication of what to expect in terms of playing against South America sides." The Socceroos qualified for the tournament as representatives of Oceania after winning the 2004 Oceania Nations Cup against the Solomon Islands last month. Other teams participating in the Confederations Cup will be host nation Germany, World Champions Brazil, European champions Greece, African Cup of Nations winners Tunisia, Asian Cup champions Japan, CONCACAF Gold Cup victors Mexico and Argentina will represent South America having finished runner-up to Brazil in the Copa America. The tournament will be hosted in the cities of Hannover, Leipzig, Cologne, Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Cologne.
Australia has an impressive record at the FIFA Confederations Cup having competed in the tournament on two previous occasions finishing runners-up in 1997 in Saudi Arabia, and in third place at the tournament held in Korea/Japan four years ago.
Tickets go on sale from 2 November 2004 (German time) with the majority of sales expected through the official site for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2005 www.FIFAworldcup.com