Destiny 06 – 27 Days To Go
In 27 days time, Australia’s latest attempt to qualify for the holy grail of world football, the FIFA World Cup, will reach its concluding stages.
In 27 days time, Australia-s latest attempt to qualify for the holy grail of world football, the FIFA World Cup, will reach its concluding stages.
Australia's path to Germany 2006 has followed a similar passage to four years earlier. After easily winning their Oceania qualifiers, Australia again face two-time World Cup winner Uruguay, in a two-legged play-off for the last qualifying spot at the 2006 tournament.
Four years ago, Australia lost the play-off 3-1 on aggregate and its now payback time.
2005 will go down as a watershed year for the code in this country and qualification for Germany 2006 will top it all off and herald in our new beginning as a member of the Asian Football Confederation.
Over the next 27 days we will countdown to the kick-off (as of the time of writing) of the 1st Leg being played in Montevideo (Saturday 12 November), bringing you up-to-date with all the news in the lead-up to the matches.
PUBLIC TICKETS ON SALE WEDNESDAY
With the Football Family offer now complete, the general public now get their chance to purchase their tickets to the Australian leg of the play-off on Wednesday 16 November.
Tickets will be available in all categories, with the match at Telstra Stadium expected to be a sell-out. More details will be released tomorrow about the public on-sale.
Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson is doing everything he can to win a place in the starting line-up for the play-off matches.
After impressing in the friendly international against Jamaica, where he scored a well-taken goal and set up Mark Viduka for his goal, Thompson was the star of the show when Victory thumped Sydney FC 5-0 on Sunday.
Thompson scored twice, including a contender for the goal of the year that featured some sublime skills, plus set up two goals and was a constant menace to the Sydney defence with his pace and ability to beat players.
Socceroos assistant coach Graham Arnold has told AAP that Thompson could be the wildcard for Australia against Uruguay; such is his outstanding form at the moment. He also said that Thompson fits the bill in terms of a (Guus) Hiddink-type of modern day striker.
Another of the young players that featured in the win over Jamaica was Bristol City midfielder Luke Wilkshire and he went back to his club full of confidence and came up trumps.
With Bristol languishing towards the foot of the English League One table, Wilkshire scored the only goal of the game against Tranmere, o give Bristol a valuable three points.
Jason Culina made his first start under Guus Hiddink at PSV Eindhoven and helped the team to an emphatic 3-0 win over high-flying rivals AZ Alkmaar. Tony Vidmar made his comeback for NAC Breda in a 3-0 loss to Heerenveen, playing 73 minutes before coming off.
In England, Mark Schwarzer made his comeback with Middlesbrough after missing several matches with a shoulder injury, while Mark Viduka came off the bench. Tim Cahill played 75 minutes in Everton-s 2-0 loss away at Tottenham; Lucas Neill played a full game and Brett Emerton came on midway through the second half, as Blackburn only lost 1-0 to Liverpool, despite being reduced to ten men half an hour into the match. Stan Lazaridis was on the bench for Birmingham, but did not see game time, while Josip Skoko, Harry Kewell, Tony Popovic and Craig Moore were not part of their team squads.
In Spain, John Aloisi came on late in Alaves 1-1 draw with Villarreal, while in Italy, Vince Grella played a full game and Mark Bresciano came on early in the second half for Parma. Zeljko Kalac again had to be content with a place on the AC Milan bench.
Joel Griffiths, who scored in his international debut against Jamaica last weekend, was quickly brought back to earth after receiving a red card for two yellow cards, as Neuchatel Xamax were thumped 4-1; although it was a different story for Ljubo Milicevic (FC Thun), Scott Chipperfield and Mile Sterjovski (both FC Basel), as they won comfortably and each playing key roles in their sides wins.
Jon McKain and Michael Thwaite both played full games for their respective sides in Romania, while Michael Petkovic kept a clean sheet in Sivasspor-s win that keeps them third in the Turkish Super League.
Several players are in action tonight including Ahmad Elrich, who is still waiting to make his starting debut with Fulham, plus Ante Covic who should be between the sticks for Hammarby-s penultimate match of the season in Sweden.