All eyes will be on our City this Tuesday night as Tim Cahill, Aaron Mooy, Eugene Galekovic and the Socceroos do their upmost to secure a ticket to Russia 2018.
Three points against the Thais at AAMI Park does not guarantee Ange Postecoglou’s side a World Cup berth, with all eyes turning to the Middle East at 3am as Saudi Arabia do their upmost to defeat an already qualified Japan.
Let’s look at the scenarios for the Socceroos on Tuesday.
Socceroos win by any amount and Saudi Arabia draws or loses
This is what football fans around the country will be hoping for and this result will secure automatic qualification to Russia 2018. Despite Japan having nothing to play for, Vahid Halilhodzic rested several key players against Australia and may look to use his full arsenal to top the group in style.
Socceroos win by two more goals than Saudi Arabia beat Japan
‘Win and win big’ has been the catch cry of pundits and commentators alike and it comes down to this factor. To put it simply, if both sides finish on the same goal difference, Australia goes through.
Currently sitting two goals behind Saudi Arabia, Australia’s winning margin against the Thais must outweigh the Green Falcons’ margin against Japan by two goals.
For example, If the Aussies win 3-0 and the Saudis win 1-0, Australia goes through. If Australia win 4-0 and the Saudis win 2-0, Australia go through too and so on.
The Saudis will know exactly what they have to do for their match against Japan with Australia’s match being played seven hours before in Melbourne, giving them the advantage.
Socceroos draw and Saudi Arabia loses
Believe it or not, this outcome will still mean automatic qualification for the Socceroos. With the point, Australia move ahead of the Saudis by one point which would be a monumental breakdown from the Green Falcons, losing their final two group matches.
Socceroos draw and Saudis draw
No dice for the Socceroos here as they will finish in the same position they started in at the begining of the round.
Socceroos win by less than three goals and Saudi Arabia win
A 2-0 win to the Socceroos will have the green and gold sweating on the result of the match in Jeddah. This result will see the Socceroos finish third, with the Saudis having a better goal difference. This will mean a tricky third place play-off with AFC Group A third place then a match against the CONCACAF (Central and Northern America) fourth place.
There are a range of other permutations if the Socceroos lose as well but a loss will be a massive dent to automatic qualification hopes.
We’re wishing all the Socceroos, especially our City boys, all the best for Tuesday night’s clash and hope the familiar surroundings of AAMI Park give them the drive they need to get to Russia!