The Australia national soccer teamknown as footballoooothey will start theirs 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign on Wednesday 23 November and will face a difficult task as they face the defending champions France in their opening match.
Australia at the FIFA World Cup
Australia didn’t reach its first FIFA World Cup until 1974 – where they scored a point in West Germany after drawing against Chile, despite failing to score a single goal in three matches. After 32 years of waiting for the next tournament, the Socceroos have an impressive run of five straight appearances since 2006.
In those 2006 finals – this time held in reunified Germany – they advanced beyond the group stage for the first and only time in history. Always competitive, only once have the Socceroos failed to score at least a point at the World Cup (Brazil 2014).
Lucas Neill of Australia at the 2006 World Cup
Photo by Getty Images from 2006
In 2006, the Australians moved the continental qualifying regions from Oceania – which does not receive an automatic qualifier spot – to Asia. Now led by coach and former international Graham Arnold in their sixth World Cup appearance in Qatar, they are looking to at least match Germany in 2006 when they beat Japan and drew Croatia to reach the round of 16 (where they narrowly lost against eventual champions Italy after Francesco Totti’s injury time).
Australia’s squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Goalkeepers: Maty Ryan, Andrew Redmayne, Danny Vukovic
Defenders: Milos Degenek, Aziz Behich, Joel King, Nathaniel Atkinson, Fran Karacic, Harry Souttar, Kye Rowles, Bailey Wright, Thomas Deng
Helpers: Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine, Ajdin Hrustic, Keanu Baccus, Cameron Devlin, Riley McGree
Forward: Awer Mabil, Mathew Leckie, Martin Boyle, Jamie Maclaren, Jason Cummings, Mitchell Duke, Garang Kuol, Craig Goodwin
Australia’s current team in particular is devoid of famous stars. But they are a strong fist squad with a mix of domestic league players and others who are making a name for themselves overseas.
Awer Mabil, born in a Kenyan refugee camp before arriving in Australia and eventually joining Cadiz in Spain’s La Liga, will be generating most of the attacks. The fast winger was instrumental in helping the Australians qualify for the World Cup after finishing third in the Asian qualifiers and the subsequent play-off against Peru.
Mabil scored one of the penalties in this dramatic shootout that sent the team to Qatar.
Another hero of the day was jelly-legged goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne. While Qatar’s #1 Australian will likely be FC Copenhagen’s Matt Ryan, Down Under fans will know – should they reach the knockout rounds – that they have a colorful (and effective) pot kick specialist in the form of veteran netback Sydney FC.
Hibernian winger Martin Boyle, Italian side Hellas Verona schemer Ajdin Hrustic and Celtic midfielder Aaron Mooy are also key cogs in the hard-working Australian side who will need to play as a dedicated unit if they hope to escape a difficult group alongside defending champions France and Denmark by Christian Eriksen.
Other notable names in the squad include Sunderland defender Bailey Wright and rising teenage star Garang Kuol, who is expected to join Newcastle United in January.
Australia FIFA World Cup 2022 fixtures, fixtures and times for live matches
Australia’s FIFA World Cup Group D matches
- November 23, Wednesday: France vs Australia (AUS) at Al Janoub Stadium | 6:00 AEDT
- November 26, Saturday: Tunisia vs Australia (AUS) at Al Janoub Stadium | 21:00 AEDT
- December 1, Thursday: Australia vs Denmark (AUS) at Al Janoub Stadium | 2:00 AEDT
FIFA World Cup knockout round schedule
- December 3-6: Round of 16 | 10am and 2pm EDT
- December 9-10: Quarterfinals | 10am and 2pm EDT
- December 13-14: Semi-finals | 2:00 p.m. EDT
- December 17: Match for third place | 10:00 AM EDT
- December 18: Final | 10:00 AM EDT
Where to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup live in Australia?
Broadcast and Livestream: SBS, SBS VICELAND SBS on demand