Mile Jedinak must play to survive Socceroos cut

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AUGUST 20 2017 – 5:10PM

Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak will be available for the World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Thailand if he gets through club duty this week unscathed.

Coach Ange Postecoglou told ABC’s Offsiders he had been in regular contact with Jedinak, who was selected in his preliminary 30-man squad despite struggling with the groin injury that kept him out of the Confederations Cup.

But he expects Jedinak should be right, provided he plays and recovers well from at least one of Aston Villa’s two matches this week.

“He’s an important part of what we’ve been building and what people don’t know is he’s been playing hurt for probably the last 12 to 18 months for us,” Postecoglou said.

“(He) always puts his hand up. If he gets through 90 minutes, he’ll be there for sure.”

 Villa face Wigan Athletic at home in the EFL Cup midweek, then travel to face Bailey Wright’s Bristol City in the English Championship at the weekend.

Postecoglou is due to trim his squad by seven players this week.

Several of his European-based players are in tip-top form, with Tom Rogic dominant as usual for Celtic and Aaron Mooy enjoying a terrific start to life in the Premier League with Huddersfield Town.

Winger Mathew Leckie also made a stunning debut for Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin overnight, scoring twice in a 2-0 win to celebrate the birth of his daughter last week.

The Socceroos forward, who joined from Ingolstadt in the off-season, eluded a defender with a clever flick and finished in style just after the restart, and then blasted home after Stuttgart failed to clear a corner.

Leckie had failed to score in his last 30 matches, his most recent goal coming in May last year against Bayer Leverkusen.

He has now scored three goals against Stuttgart, his best return against any Bundesliga outfit. His Socceroos teammate Mitch Langerak was left on the bench on Saturday as Stuttgart’s back-up goalkeeper.

Australia need at least four points from the two games – against Japan in Saitama on August 31, then against Thailand in Melbourne on September 5 – to qualify directly for the 2018 World Cup in Russia without relying on other results.

“Getting a draw and then trying to win at home, which we’ve done fairly consistently, is one method but I’d rather go over there and try and win that (Japan) game,” Postecoglou said.

“That’s what I want to test. We’ve worked with this team for the last four years to play well in big occasions when the pressure’s the most, and this is it.”

If the Socceroos finish third in Group B, they can still qualify if they win two dual-legged play-offs – first against the other third-placed Asian side in Group A, then the fourth-placed qualifier from North and Central America.

AAP

Source  :  The Canberra Times

Four-goal Kerr sizzles in NWSL

Sam Kerr created more history in the NWSL by scoring four goals in Sky Blues FC's win over Seattle.

Westfield Matildas star Sam Kerr has created more history in the National Women’s Soccer League, becoming the first player to score four goals in a match in Sky Blue FC’s incredible comeback win on Sunday (AEST).

KERR SPARKS EPIC COMEBACK

Kerr’s Sky Blue FC looked on course for a heavy defeat as they trailed Seattle Reign 3-0 at halftime in New Jersey.

But someone forgot to tell the Westfield Matildas striker.

Kerr kick-started the fightback three minutes after the break when she finished off a goal-mouth scramble before making it 2-3 20 minutes later with a piercing low drive.

But the drama wasn’t done there.

Just three minutes later a classic Kerr run was accompanied by a sublime curling finish into the top corner from just outside the box to draw her side level.

Reign edged back in front with five minutes left before Sky Blue FC equalised again in the first minute of stoppage-time, setting the scene for Kerr’s Match-winner.

And it was a beauty, timing her run perfectly to head in from a corner to spark jubilant scenes and cap one astonishing cameback.

KERR IN CLASS OF HER OWN

Kerr’s four-goal haul now has her clearly out in front in the race for the NWSL Golden Boot.

She now has 15 for the season to sit three clear of Reign’s Megan Rapinoe with 12.

It comes at the end of a week where Kerr was also shortlisted among nine other players for the prestigious The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2017 award.
Australian fans have the chance to see Kerr in the flesh in September when the Westfield Matildas play Brazil in friendlies in Penrith (Sept 16) and Newcastle (Sept 19).

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Aussies Abroad: Matthew Leckie’s special Bundesliga brace

Caltex Socceroo Mathew Leckie celebrates one of his two goals in Hertha Berlin's 2-0 Bundesliga win over Vfb Stuttgart.

Caltex Socceroo Mathew Leckie has become an instant hero for new club Hertha Berlin, scoring a brace in their Bundesliga opener against Mitch Langerak’s Vfb Stuttgart overnight.

LECKIE STEALS THE SHOW

After a goalless first half, it took Leckie less than a minute after the restart to get the home crowd of almost 45,000 on their feet.

He sprinted onto Vedad Ibisevic’s header to race free, before cutting inside his defender and curling a stunning effort into the far corner.

The 26-year-old then made the result safe just after the hour mark, in the right place at the right time to rifle home a loose ball from a corner.

“It’s a special moment for me, not just outside of football with my baby just being born,” Leckie told Hertha TV.

“Two goals at the start of my career in Berlin – I’ve never scored two goals in a game in the Bundesliga.

“Football is a crazy, funny game. I think the fresh start in Berlin was exactly what I needed.”

Caltex Socceroos teammate Mitch Langerak was on the bench for Stuttgart.

LECKIE: ‘BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE

The Aussies man-of-the-match display comes just a week after he set up both goals in the club’s 2-0 German Cup win over Hansa Rostock last weekend.

But topping all that was the birth of his first daughter Olivia Valentina.

“I’ll be going straight home to the baby,” said the winger when asked how he’d celebrate his double.

“This week has been one of the best of my life. I’m definitely going to enjoy the next couple of days celebrating the performance.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

Both Leckie and Langerak are both likely to be named in Ange Postecoglou’s final 23-man squad on Tuesday for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Thailand.

In the Bundesliga, Leckie’s Hertha travel to play heavyweights Borussia Dortmund, while Langerak’s Stuttgart are at home to Mainz.

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Aussies Abroad: Matthew Ryan’s Brighton suffer EPL defeat

Mat Ryan played another full game in Brighton's 2-0 EPL loss to Leicester City.

Saturday, 19 August 2017 

Staff writer
Mat Ryan’s Brighton have fallen to a second straight English Premier League defeat after going down 2-0 to Leicester City overnight.

BRIGHTON’S HORROR START

It took less than a minute for Leicester City to go in front at the King Power Stadium though Japanese international Shinji Okazaki.

Riyad Mahrez’s shot went through a crowd of players before getting to Ryan, who couldn’t keep a hold of the ball allowing Okazaki to tap-in from inside the area.

The second goal didn’t arrive until nine minutes into the second half as Harry Maguire rose highest to power a header in from Mahrez’s corner.

That’s now back-to-back 2-0 defeats for newly-promoted Brighton.

SMITH ON BOURNEMOUTH BENCH

Caltex Socceroos left-back Brad Smith made the bench for AFC Bournemouth for their home clash with Watford.

Smith didn’t get on the pitch as the Hornets scored twice in the second-half to leave the Vitality Stadium with a 2-0 win.

Like Brighton, Bournemouth have yet to register a point from the opening two games.

MOOY IN ACTION

Aaron Mooy’s Huddersfield Town will play their first EPL home game on Sunday night when they host Newcastle United.

The two newly-promoted clubs have enjoyed contrasting starts to life in the top-flight, with Mooy inspiring Huddersfield to a 3-0 win at Crystal Palace last weekend.

Newcastle suffered a 2-0 loss at home to Tottenham Hotspurs.

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Aussies Abroad: Tom Rogic shines for Celtic again

Rogic shines for Celtic

Tom Rogic has starred for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League overnight with the Caltex Socceroos playmaker setting up both goals in the 2-0 win over Kilmarnock.

ROGIC AT THE DOUBLE

The Aussie was on fire at Rugby Park in a match that Celtic dominated but relied on Rogic’s class to open up the stubborn home side.

Rogic’s first moment of magic came just before halftime when he beat two men on a powerful run into the box before sliding the ball into the path of James Forrest for a simple finish.

But his involvement in the second goal was even better.

 

Two minutes from the end Rogic again did most of the work himself, picking up the ball just inside Killie’s half before producing an incisive 30-metre run past a couple of defenders.

He slipped a pin-point pass into the path of Callum McGregor to score to seal another win for the defending champions.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Rogic and Celtic have another big week with the second leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier against Astana on Thursday (AEST) in Kazakhstan.

The Hoops take a 5-0 lead into the second leg.

Brendan Rodgers’ side then play St Johnstone in the SPL next weekend before Rogic will link up with the Caltex Socceroos for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Thailand.

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

 

Sam Kerr shortlisted for Best FIFA Women’s Player 2017

Kerr

Thursday, 17 August 2017 

Aidan Ormond @AidotheFFAEd
FIFA has announced Westfield Matildas star striker Sam Kerr has been shortlisted alongside nine other players for The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2017 award.

After a stunning year in the US league and for the national team, the 23-year-old now could crown the year with the ultimate accolade.

The final list of nominees will be announced in early September.

The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:

Lucy Bronze (ENG – Manchester City Women)
Deyna Castellanos (VEN – Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
Pernille Harder (DEN – Linkopings / VfL Wolfsburg (Women))
Sam Kerr (AUS – Perth Glory / Sky Blue FC)
Carli Lloyd (USA – Houston Dash / Manchester City Women)
Dzsenifer Marozsan (GER – Olympique Lyonnais Feminin)
Lieke Martens (NED – FC Barcelona Femeni)
Vivianne Miedema (NED – Arsenal Women)
Wendie Renard (FRA – Olympique Lyonnais Feminin)
Jodie Taylor (ENG – Arsenal Women)

For more, click here

HOW IT WORKS

The winner of this award will be chosen by a process involving the four main stakeholders involved in football: national team coaches, captains, selected media and the fans.

The women’s awards take in the time span of 20 November 2016 to 6 August 2017 inclusive.

VOTING

Voting starts on Monday 21 August, when you can make your choice on FIFA.com.

Voting closes on 7 September.

The final lists of three nominees for the men’s and women’s player and coach categories – as well as for the FIFA Puskás Award, the FIFA Fan Award and the brand new The Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award – will be announced in mid-September.

The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony will be on Monday 23 October, where all winners will be presented with their awards.

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Caltex Socceroos v Thailand: fixture history

Aaron Mooy against Thailand

The last four games between these two nations are clear proof that the pivotal September 5 clash in Melbourne won’t be easy. Not by any means. Australia will have to earn the win.

GROUP RECAP

Standings — Asian World Cup Qualifiers

Pos. P W D L GD Pts Form
1

Japan

Japan 8 5 2 1 9 17
WDWWWD
2

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia 8 5 1 2 7 16
DWLWWL
3

Australia

Australia 8 4 4 0 6 16
DDDDWW
4

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates 8 3 1 4 -3 10
WLWLLD
5

Iraq

Iraq 8 1 2 5 -3 5
LWLDLD
6

Thailand

Thailand 8 0 2 6 -16 2
LLDLLD

With Thailand now under new management – with more defensive structure than before – they pose a tricky test for Australia will be desperate to win as they chase automatic qualification for Russia 2018.

Now in charge of Thailand is Milovan Rajevac. ‘The Serbian has been around the coaching block a few times. After a number of clubs in the Balkans, he has taken over national teams such as Ghana, Qatar and Algeria,’ writes Asian football expert @JohnnyDuerden.

FIXTURE HISTORY

THAILAND 2-2 AUSTRALIA: BANGKOK, NOVEMBER 16, 2016

The Caltex Socceroos spurned the chance to go top of the group after a thrilling 2-2 draw against an energetic Thailand. In a see-saw game that had the fans on their feet, Australia took an early lead before two goals to Teerasil Dangda had the War Elephants dreaming of a huge upset. But a third penalty got the Aussies back into it the contest just after the hour mark.

Robbie Kruse is tackled by Thailand's Prathum Chuthong in Tuesday night's WCQ.THAILAND 0-1 AUSTRALIA: BANGKOK, NOVEMBER 15, 2011

Australia just edged the Thais 1-0 six years ago, also in a World Cup qualifier. Brett Holman, now with Brisbane Roar, poached the decisive goal on 77 minutes in the return clash in the group.

AUSTRALIA 2-1 THAILAND, BRISBANE, SEPTEMBER 2,  2011

Australia opened their World Cup qualifying group with a home tie, but the  visitors took a shock early lead after a swift counter-attack finished off by Teerasil Dangda, before second half goals to the Socceroos won it 2-1. Alex Brosque and Josh Kennedy for the hosts at Lang Park.

The Socceroos celebrate Josh Kennedy scoring against Saudi Arabia in 2011.THAILAND 0-4 AUSTRALIA: BANGKOK, JULY 16, 2007

At the Asian Cup, Australia eased past the Thais 4-0 in their final group match, though the result was in the balance till the 80 th  minute before the Aussies scored three times on the break in the last 10 minutes. Mark Viduka with a brace as the Aussies moved on to the quarter-finals to meet Japan in Vietnam.

Source  :  Football Federation Australia