Need for speed the answer to topple Thailand

Mathew Leckie looms as a key player for the Caltex Socceroos against Thailand in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

Mathew Leckie looms as a key player for the Caltex Socceroos against Thailand in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

Caltex Socceroos winger says speed will be the key to unlocking Thailand’s defence in Tuesday night’s must-win FIFA World Cup qualifier in Melbourne.


Like they did in the loss to Japan last week, the Caltex Socceroos are likely to dominate possession and field position against Thailand.

The visitors are likely to put plenty of men behind the ball, and Leckie says the speed of ball movement will be vital if Australia hopes to rack up a big score.

“The ultimate topic we spoke about was that the ball movement was too slow,” Leckie told reporters on Sunday.

“With Japan playing very defensive, we let them get back into their formation and sorted in their own half very easily.

“We were just disappointed…there was evidence we could’ve caused Japan lots of problems. If we moved the ball quicker and went forward faster we could have definitely found gaps.”

Brad Smith goes down under a mis-timed tackle from a Japanese defender.


Playing in a wing-back role in Ange Postecoglou’s 3-2-4-1 formation, Leckie has been mixing defensive duties with trying to get forward and help out in the front third.

He hopes to play a more positive role in attack against the Thais.

“I think we’ll have more possession and hopefully that gives the opportunity to the wing-backs to get forward,” Leckie said.

“If we can get on top of Thailand push them back into their own half, it’ll definitely give us the opportunity to get high.

“We need goals and towards the end of the game we might have to take some risks as well.”

Caltex Socceroos v Thailand banner

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Eugene Galekovic called into Caltex Socceroos squad

Eugene Galekovic has been called in to the Caltex Socceroos squad in place of the injured Adam Federici.

Eugene Galekovic has been called in to the Caltex Socceroos squad in place of the injured Adam Federici.

Eugene Galekovic has been called in to the Caltex Socceroos squad for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier against Thailand.

The Melbourne City gloveman replaces Adam Federici who has withdrawn from the squad due to injury.

Galekovic will join the Caltex Socceroos in camp on Monday morning in Melbourne ahead of Tuesday’s vital FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Caltex Socceroos v Thailand banner

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Mark Milligan ready for ‘biggest game in 10 years’

Mark Milligan is confident the Caltex Socceroos will get the job done against Thailand on Tuesday night.

Mark Milligan is confident the Caltex Socceroos will get the job done against Thailand on Tuesday night.

Mark Milligan believes a vocal home crowd could be decisive as the Caltex Socceroos go all-out in what the defender describes as the most important qualifier in a decade.


With Saudi Arabia currently enjoying a two-goal advantage on goal difference to Australia, a big win is paramount to boost the Caltex Socceroos’ hopes of automatic qualification to Russia 2018.

And a boisterous home crowd is vital, according to Milligan.

“There’s no more important game that I can recall over the last 10 years since we’ve been in Asia for qualification,” the stand-in skipper said.

“It’s important that they get out and know [Thailand is] not going to roll over.

“It’s going to be no easy feat for us on Tuesday but we’ll come ready and we’ll get the result needed.”

Group B table


A win over Thailand will put the pressure on Saudi Arabia to get a similar result in their final match against Japan in the early hours of Wednesday morning (AEST).

But regardless of what unfolds over the next few days, Milligan has no doubt the Caltex Socceroos will qualify for a fourth straight FIFA World Cup.

“Going to consecutive World Cups has been very important not just for the national team but for Australian football, the A-League and lower leagues,” Milligan said.

“I still truly believe that we will go out Tuesday night and we’ll put in a good performance.

“Whether it’s Wednesday that it’s announced that we’re going to a World Cup or whether we have to wait a bit longer, it will happen.

“Obviously that’s worst case scenario but there’s a long way before we have to hit that panic button.”

Caltex Socceroos v Thailand banner

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Brad Smith keen for redemption against Thailand

Caltex Socceroos wingback Brad Smith is looking for a big performance against Thailand.

Caltex Socceroos wingback Brad Smith has conceded his display against Japan wasn’t up to the standard he expects of himself – and the English Premier League player is looking to Thailand on Tuesday as a chance to reassert his qualities.


Group B tableThe Australians must win next Tuesday night – and ideally by an avalanche of goals – to put the pressure back on Saudi Arabia who face Japan in Jeddah a few hours after the clash in Melbourne.


With the Japan loss still fresh in mind, the left wingback didn’t pick up a runner and that contributed to Japan’s first goal in their 2-0 win on Thursday night.

“I didn’t think I was up to scratch on the day,” he told reporters when quizzed on his display shortly after landing in Melbourne.

“But it’s a team game and we’ll review the game and see where we did go wrong, and build on that and hopefully produce the performance we need.”


“I’m very confident. All the boys are confident. We’ve got to be positive and we can definitely get the job done,” he said of the crunch clash with Thailand.

“That’s the formation we believe will take us far,” he said of the 3-4-3 in which he plays as a left wingback.

James Troisi looks to wriggle clear of his marker in Australia's 2-0 loss to Japan.

Smith added fellow EPL player and star playmaker Aaron Mooy was feeling much better and was in high spirits after he was taken ill on game day in Japan.

Mooy’s return will surely be one of the sparks needed for Australia to fire up in front of goal.


Smith has been a peripheral figure at his EPL club Bournemouth. And he hinted at a potential loan move in the next window in January away from Eddie Howe’s Cherries. Something that is vitally important in a World Cup year.

“Obviously it’s difficult not playing but I have to stay and fight for my place.

“This year is a big year for me to get as much game time as I can. If not we’ll discuss it in January and see what happens there.”

Caltex Socceroos v Thailand banner

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Desperate Egyptians are Risking ISIS Beheadings to Feed their Families

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Al Bawaba

Thousands of Egyptians are running the risk of death at the hands of ISIS militants in Libya because they are unable to find work due to the country’s economic woes. The civil war in Libya is still raging with almost daily reports of militant attacks against both Libyans and foreigners, while governments across the globe have warned their citizens to stay away from the danger zone.

But this hasn’t stopped desperate Egyptian workers – an estimated 75,000 – from flocking to the North African state where just last week 11 people were brutally beheaded by ISIS militants. “Sadly these type of incidents are now an almost everyday occurrence in Libya,” says Mina Thabet, a program director at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms.

Many who risk life and limb on Libyan soil are left with little choice thanks to poverty and limited opportunities back home in Egypt, a situation which has worsened in recent months thanks to the country’s economic woes.

“Most of the people who end up traveling to Libya for work are from Upper Egypt where there are high rates of poverty and unemployment along with low levels of education,” Thabet told Al Bawaba News. “They often come from families who’ve been going to Libya for work for maybe 20 or 30 years. They tend to work in the construction industry and they go to Libya to make a living because there are no opportunities for them in Egypt,” he added.

The dangers are more than a passing threat. In February 2015, a group of 21 Christian Egyptian construction workers were beheaded along the country’s Mediterranean coast by ISIS-affiliated militants. The brutal killings sparked outrage and horror in the village of Al-Our, the birthplace of 13 of the victims, and across Egypt with many calling for vengeance against the militants. In the aftermath, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi launched air strikes against militants in the Libyan city of Derna. Officials also stepped up patrols to prevent undocumented migration to the war-torn country

While the measures may have disrupted the militants, they did little to stem the flow of desperate workers fleeing to Libya in search of a wage that they could not find on Egyptian soil. Many of those who travel to Libya come from the country’s southern governorates, areas which are hundreds of miles from the glitzy Cairene compounds favored by the Egyptian elite in both distance and living standards.

In Upper Egypt, where life is hard, opportunities are few and education is limited many relied on government subsidized goods to make ends meet. But earlier this year, the government scrapped fuel subsidies after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi approved a draft state budget that reduces the budget deficit to 9.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from 11.5 percent.
Alongside fuel, electricity and water prices have also been hiked by the government in recent months.

Add to this, the government’s decision to float the country’s currency last year – a move which saw the value of the EGP drop by half against the USD – and it is easy to see that such measures have had a knock-on effect and sent the price of many everyday goods and services on the streets of Egypt soaring. Speaking about the current economic situation in Egypt, Thabet is frank.
“Right now they are facing a lot of challenges because of the economic situation in Egypt. It is a tragedy right now. We are seeing rising prices, the currency has been devalued while salaries have remained the same. The people living in Upper Egypt are now facing extreme poverty and a lack of opportunities. When they go to Libya they can earn enough money to build a life and a future for themselves,” he said.

While Thabet doesn’t believe that the government is entirely to blame for the situation, he has called on the country’s leaders to provide more opportunities for all Egyptians. “I don’t think it comes down to any one man or thing. In order to stop people going to Libya, the government must create more jobs and opportunities across the whole country and especially in Upper Egypt,” he said.

“We are seeing the poor and the middle classes pushed so that they have to work in conflict zones with no safety because they have no other opportunity. The government must look out for all Egyptians not just the upper classes. All Egyptians must be treated as first class citizens in our country and not second or third class citizens,” he added.


Source  :  Egypt Daily News

Christian families face difficulties, ask for asylum in Australia: Pope Twadros II

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Al-Masry Al-Youm

Twenty Christian families have requested political asylum in Australia, which is being considered at present. It will be a good thing to offer these families a chance at a new life, he underlined. Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Twadros II, stated that Egypt has been suffering from economic and education problems since the outbreak of the January 25 and June 30 revolutions.

‘Egypt is a bled country’, Pope Twadros II told the Australian news network ABC, saying that small villages face lifestyle pressures every day. Pope Twadros II pointed out that western countries have adopted the wrong Middle East policies. These strategies have led to the displacement of Syrian and Iraqi Christians and affected the stability of other countries. ‘Western countries have to respect our customs, language, values and everyday life,” Pope Twadros II asserted.

Senior-level ecclesiastic source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Pope Twadros II took into account the image of Egypt and the human dimension of these families during the interview with ABC news network. Meanwhile, the source denied that neither Coptic Orthodox Church nor the bishop of Sydney requested Australian authorities arrest activist Christina Sloanes, who called for the administrative reformation in the Archdiocese of Sydney.


Source  :  Egypt Daily News

Pope Tawadros II to Australian Coptic Youth on Same-Sex Marriage Vote: “Fight for What is Right”

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Egyptian Streets

Pope Tawadros II addressed around 1000 Australian Coptic youth in an event on Friday where he spoke of the importance of ‘fight[ing] for what is right’ on the issue of same sex marriage, ahead of the forthcoming national Australian plebiscite on the issue. “Family equals ‘father and mother,” the patriarch said to Coptic youth on Friday night at the International Convention Centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

The comments follow earlier ones Pope Tawadros II made within the first few hours of his arrival in Australia last Wednesday. “According to the Holy Bible, when you read either in the Old Testament or the New Testament, there is no – at all – same-sex marriage,” the Pope had said during an airport press conference last Wednesday.

“Therefore, this marriage is completely refused from the Christian faith.” During Friday’s event, the Pope answered audience questions and was presented with a gift from Bishop Daniel, Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Sydney and the affiliated regions.

The event saw Pope Tawadros II speak of the importance of Egypt to ‘stability in the Middle East’ and of his ongoing work to foster ecumenical dialogue. “The stability of Egypt means the stability of the Middle East and the Mediterranean,” the visiting patriarch said. “We consider Egypt the mother of the world and Australia a very very young sister.” Among the other issues that featured in the Pope’s commentary was Egypt’s economic situation.

“We ask for your prayers for our churches within Egypt and the country’s economic problems which affect such a large section of its people,” said the Pope. “I’m sure this will be solved in a very few years, that the situation will be good and that Egypt will shine.” Recounting his extensive and wide-ranging meetings with other Christian leaders in the last five years, Pope Tawadros emphasized the fundamental importance of ‘speaking the truth in love.’

“Christian unity according to my opinion is like the cross, it must start firstly with love, love relations with all the churches and extended hands to all the churches,” Pope Tawadros II said. “We must build this love relation with all the churches because we are one of the oldest churches in the world. Christianity started in Egypt in the year 58 of the first century.” The Pope, who took office on 18 November 2012, has met with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Constantinople and Patriarch Bartholomew. In May this year, Pope Kirill of Moscow and All Russia awarded him the ‘Award of the Unity of Orthodox People’.

Pope Tawadros II is in Sydney until Monday and will be in Canberra on September 6 and Melbourne from September 7-13. The Pope is not the only high-level Egyptian to be visiting Australia this month. Nabila Makram, Egyptian Minister for Emigration and Youth, is expected to visit Australia between 9-15 September along with a delegation from the Egyptian parliament and a number of Egyptian youth.


Source  :  Egypt Daily News