The Qantas Socceroos will face Asian heavyweights Japan and Iraq in the fourth round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The Qantas Socceroos have been placed in Group B along with Japan, Iraq, Jordan and Oman for the fourth round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers following the official draw that was held at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
The Qantas Socceroos were the top ranked team going into the draw and were the first/last team drawn from Pot 1. The Korea Republic were the other team in Pot 1 as the second highest ranked team in Asia and head Group A with Iran, Uzbekistan, Qatar and Lebanon.
Following the draw, Qantas Socceroos Head Coach Holger Osieck said he was happy with the draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Fourth Round.
“We knew long before the draw which position we were in that we had to play one Middle East team, so I agreed to play Denmark to have one weekend in Europe and from there to fly to the Middle East, which is only six hours - which for Australian standards is pretty good.
“That is the only real logistical issue we have to contend with, other than that I'm pretty happy.
"We are working from Monday when we will talk about all the logistics. I will travel to Europe to scout, to talk to players - I will have a look if I can add a couple of new faces.
“It-s going to be tough , especially the road games, so we have to be ready to start from the minute one,” concluded Osieck.
As the top ranked team in the group, the Qantas Socceroos have a bye on the opening match day and will play their first match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Fourth Round away to Oman on Friday 8 June 2012 before returning to Australia for their first home match against Japan on Tuesday 12 June 2012.
The next two match days for the Qantas Socceroos will be away to Jordan on Tuesday 11 September 2012 and then Iraq on Tuesday 16 October 2012.
The Qantas Socceroos next match day will be at home on Tuesday 26 March 2013 against Oman, with the final three match days in June against Japan (away - Tuesday, 4 June 2013), Jordan (home - Tuesday, 11 June 2013) and Iraq (home Tuesday, 18 June 2013).
The top two teams from each group will progress directly to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The two third placed teams from each group will meet in a play-off over two match days (6 & 10 September 2013) with the winner over the two legs to face the a CONMEBOL team on 15 October 2013 and 19 November 2013 with the winner of that fixture over two legs then progressing to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The Qantas Socceroos will warm-up for the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Fourth Round campaign with an international friendly against Denmark in Copenhagen on Saturday 2 June 2012.
Group A Korea Republic Iran Uzbekistan Qatar Lebanon
Group B Australia Iraq Jordan Oman Japan
2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers - Fourth Round fixtures Sunday, 3 June 2012 Australia - Bye Friday, 8 June 2012 Oman v Australia Tuesday, 12 June 2012 Australia v Japan Tuesday, 11 Sept 2012 Jordan v Australia Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 Iraq v Australia Wednesday, 14 Nov 2012 Australia - Bye Tuesday, 26 March 2013 Australia v Oman Tuesday, 4 June 2013 Japan v Australia Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Australia v Jordan Tuesday, 18 June 2013 Australia v Iraq
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