Melbourne City FC star Tim Cahill has been selected in Ange Postecoglou’s 23-man Socceroos squad to face Saudi Arabia and Japan in October’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
An unused substitute during the Socceroos 2-0 win over Iraq in Perth, Cahill continued his knack for scoring important goals with a decisive second-half volley – his 48th goal for his country – to secure a valuable three points against the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.
Postecoglou’s side will travel to Jeddah for a top-of-the-table clash against Saudi Arabia, who defeated Thailand and Iraq in their first two matches, before taking on arch rivals Japan on October 11 in what shapes as a difficult test.
“When the draw was released we acknowledged that this window was a real challenge with a very tough away game followed by the clash with Japan at home but that doesn’t mean we stray from the way we prepare ourselves for every match,” Postecoglou said.
“These two games come pretty quickly after the two matches we played against Iraq and the UAE and we face similar challenges against tough opposition but we are confident in our processes and planning.
“We will take the game to both opponents and trust ourselves that we can meet the challenges we face in Saudi Arabia and then back in Melbourne with strong performances and a professional application to the task at hand.”
Former City midfielder Aaron Mooy also features in the 23-man squad, with the midfield maestro turning in another man-of-the-match performance to help Huddersfield Town extend their lead at the top of the English Championship with a 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers.
2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers - Match Details
Saudi Arabia v Caltex Socceroos
Thursday 6 October 2016 King Abdullah Stadium, Jeddah
8.45pm kick off (4.45am Friday AEDT)
Caltex Socceroos v Japan
Tuesday 11 October 2016 Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
8pm kick off (AEDT)