Leckie: I’ve ‘never hit a penalty that good’

Socceroos forward Mathew Leckie explained the penalty he scored to secure Australia’s 4-2 shootout win over Uzbekistan may have been the best of his life. 

Graham Arnold’s side dominated proceedings during their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ Round of 16 clash, but were denied on several occasions in the second half by Uzbekistan goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov.

At 3-2 in the shootout, and needing one more penalty to win, Leckie stepped up to the plate and struck the ball as sweet as they come.

“I wanted to make sure I hit it hard, that way if I got it into the corner (the keeper) wouldn’t have had a chance,” Leckie told Fox Sports.

“To be fair, out of all the penalties I’ve taken in my life training, I’ve never hit it that good, so it was meant to be.

“I think the boys did super well today, obviously I came on, but the Uzbekistan team were so disciplined, it was so hard to break them down, I think it was a bit of a stalemate for both teams.”

Mat Leckie

The penalty rounded out a sensational comeback from injury for Leckie.

The Hertha Berlin flyer has been crucial to Australia’s attack for the past eight years, making his name one of the first on the team sheet.

But when his AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ preparations were curtailed by a hamstring injury sustained during club action, scoring the winner made the weeks of rehab more than worthwhile for Leckie.

“(Scoring the penalty meant) everything,” said Leckie. “For me to just be playing today, it’s super special.


“We’ve worked super hard — Phil Coles and the rest of the physio staff — they’ve done everything they can to get me back and today [because] there was also a question mark for the Quarter Finals if we made it.

“24/7 we’ve been working hard to get me right and I felt good today,” Leckie concluded.

The Socceroos face the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, 26 January 2019 at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Kick-off is at 3am (AEDT) and will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 505.

( Featured Image courtesy of the Asian Football Confederation)


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

Mathew Leckie to remain with the Socceroos squad


Graham Arnold has confirmed that Hertha BSC attacker Mathew Leckie will remain with the Australian squad at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ after making great progress on his hamstring injury with the help and guidance of the Socceroos’ medical team over the past ten days. 

Leckie was one of the first players to arrive in camp in the United Arab Emirates, and together with the Socceroos’ medical team and coaching staff, quickly put a plan in place to achieve progress on his injury.

Australia’s staff, led by Head Coach Graham Arnold, are confident that Leckie will be able to play an important role for the Socceroos at the tournament.

Leckie said: “First and foremost I had to get the scan done to see if there was a chance [to play to the tournament] and once there was I was straight over here and sat down with the physios, with ‘Colesy’ [Phil Coles], and set up a plan going forward. We are working really hard with the training sessions, taking it step by step, not rushing things, and so far the progress has been great.”

“I haven’t really torn a muscle like this in my hamstring, at least this bad, before. So, the process is all new to me. It started off just jogging and seeing how it goes and there’s improvements and the pain is going away. We are up to a pretty good [running] speed now, 25 kilometres an hour, a few run throughs and change of direction. It is just taking it day by day and stepping it up with sharper exercises, more speed.”

“I am very thankful that they [the coaching staff] have given me the opportunity. It is a decision that they had to make, and I am sure that it is not an easy one. I am blessed to have the opportunity and I will be giving everything to be back.”

The Socceroos will commence their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ campaign against Jordan at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Sunday, 6 January 2019. Kick-off is at 3pm (local time), 10pm (AEDT).

Source : Socceroos Website

3 years ago : @Socceroos defeats Oman 4-0 in AFC Asian Cup in second match

Sydney: A second straight four-goal haul means Australia and Korea Republic will battle for top spot in Group A in Brisbane at the weekend after Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos handed Oman a comprehensive 4-0 defeat at Stadium Australia on Tuesday evening to advance to the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.

A draw will be enough for the tournament hosts on Saturday evening to win the group on goal difference and set up a quarter-final clash with the runners-up in Group B, after two goals in three minutes from Matt McKay and Robbie Kruse sent Australia on their way to an impressive victory.

A penalty from Mark Milligan and a close range strike from second-half substitute Tomi Juric added to Oman’s woes in a game in which Paul Le Guen’s side were totally outclassed.

Coupled with Korea’s 1-0 win over Kuwait earlier on Tuesday, the two quarter-finals berths from Group A have now been filled, with only the positions at the top of the table left to be determined.

McKay was drafted into the starting line-up as Postecoglou made three changes to the team that handed Kuwait a 4-1 thrashing in the opening game, with injured captain Mile Jedinak replaced by Mark Milligan, and McKay and Jason Davidson came in instead of James Troisi and Aziz Behich.

The changes did little to disrupt the rhythm of the Socceroos, who steadily took control of the game after an early scare, when Raed Saleh’s third minute thunderbolt from long range was brilliantly palmed to safety by Mat Ryan.

However, the Socceroos – just as they did against Kuwait in the tournament opener in Melbourne – slowly took control of the game and by the time the clock had ticked past the halfway point in the opening period, Australia were in total command.

Tim Cahill – captain for the night in Jedinak’s absence – twice went close with looping headers before McKay, one of the heroes of Australia’s run to the final in Qatar four years ago, put his side in front.

Robbie Kruse’s 27th minute corner from the Omani right was headed goalward by Trent Sainsbury and McKay scooped the ball over the line from close range to lift the majority of 50,276 fans to their feet.

Three minutes later the Australians doubled their advantage, with Kruse this time starting and finishing a fine move with a run from just inside his own half, laying the ball off to Massimo Luongo, whose return pass the Bayer Leverkusen striker slipped under Ali Al Habsi.

Milligan converted from the spot three minutes into first half injury time after Cahill was hauled down by Ali Al Busaidi as the Socceroos closed out an impressive opening 45 minutes with another goal.

Cahill and Luongo made way for Juric and Mark Bresciano five minutes after the restart and, with 20 minutes to go, Western Sydney Wanderers’ striker Juric put the seal on the win with a sliding finish after Leckie’s superb cross from the left with the outside of his right boot gave the Omandefence little chance.

Photo: WSG


Source  :  Asian Football Confederation Website

Caltex Socceroos fans pick their 23-man squad for Japan and Thailand

The Caltex Socceroos squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Thailand will be trimmed to 23 on Wednesday.

The Caltex Socceroos squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Thailand will be trimmed to 23 on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Ange Postecoglou will pick his 23-man Caltex Socceroos squad for Australia’s upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Japan and Thailand.

With these fixtures to decide Australia’s fate for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, we asked fans who they thought should be chosen in the Socceroos’ final squad.

And the votes are in! Here’s the 23-man Socceroos squad as chosen by the fans.


Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak and Danny Vukovic.

*Ryan was clearly the most popular choice with almost 38% of the vote with Langerak and Vukovic the next two most preferred between the sticks.

Mat Ryan pulled off some big saves in Brighton's clash with Manchester City.


Trent Sainsbury, Bailey Wright, Matthew Spiranovic, Milos Degenek and Matt Jurman.

*Sainsbury was clearly first choice in the heart of the Socceroos defence ahead of the dependable Bailey Wright and the returning Matthew Spiranovic. Milos Degenek earned a call-up as did former Sydney FC centre-back Matt Jurman.

Caltex Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury clears the danger in the opening group game against Germany at the FIFA Confederations Cup.


Central midfielders – Aaron Mooy, Mile Jedinak, Mark Milligan, Jackson Irvine, Massimo Luongo and Mustafa Amini.

Wing-backs – Mathew Leckie, Brad Smith, Aziz Behich, Alex Gersbach.

*Huddersfield star Aaron Mooy was the popular choice amongst the fans just ahead of teammates Mat Leckie and Mark Milligan.

Aaron Mooy celebrates after scoring a superb winner for Huddersfield Town in the EPL against Newcastle United.


Tom Rogic, Tomi Juric, Tim Cahill, James Troisi and Robbie Kruse.

*Celtic ace Tom Rogic was the overwhelming choice of the Socceroos faithful ahead of the improving Tomi Juric and all-time leading scorer Tim Cahill.

Juric celebrates giving Australia a lifeline back into the match.

CALTEX SOCCEROOS 23-MAN SQUAD (as chosen by fans)

Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak, Danny Vukovic, Trent Sainsbury, Bailey Wright, Matthew Spiranovic, Milos Degenek, Matt Jurman, Aaron Mooy, Mile Jedinak, Mark Milligan, Jackson Irvine, Massimo Luongo, Mustafa Amini, Mathew Leckie, Brad Smith, Aziz Behich, Alex Gersbach, Tom Rogic, Tomi Juric, Tim Cahill, James Troisi and Robbie Kruse.

Caltex Socceroos v Thailand banner

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Caltex Socceroos Mathew Leckie and Mitch Langerak are set to face off in the Bundesliga this weekend

Caltex Socceroos Mathew Leckie and Mitch Langerak are set to face off in the Bundesliga this weekend.

Caltex Socceroos teammates Mitch Langerak and Mathew Leckie are set to come head-to-head when the Bundesliga season kicks off this weekend.

Leckie’s outfit Hertha Berlin play host to Langerak’s Vfb Stuttgart in the opening round of the new campaign.

Langerak played a starring role in Stuttgart’s promotion to the Bundesliga last season but is currently locked in a battle for a starting berth with Ron-Robert Zieler.

But should the Socceroos gloveman get the nod, he’ll have his hands full with the likes of Leckie, Ivory Coast attacker Salomon Kalou and Bosnian striker Vedad Ibišević.

Leckie, who moved from relegated FC Ingolstadt in the off-season, has started the season in excellent touch after setting up both goals in last week’s 2-0 German Cup win over Hansa Rostock.

In the 2.Bundesliga, Jamie Maclaren’s SV Darmstadt will look to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign when they play host to St Pauli.

Former Roar flyer Brandon Borrello will be hoping to see his first minutes of the season when FC Kaiserslautern travel to Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Mat Leckie and Mitch Langerak will meet on the opening day of the new Bundesliga season

Mat Leckie and Mitch Langerak will meet on the opening day of the new Bundesliga season.

Caltex Socceroos teammates Mitch Langerak and Mathew Leckie will face-off on the opening weekend of the new Bundesliga season after the fixtures were announced overnight.

Leckie, who moved from relegated FC Ingolstadt to Hertha Berlin, will host Langerak’s Vfb Stuttgart on the opening weekend of the 2017/18 campaign.


After a fantastic season to help Stuttgart earn promotion back into the Bundesliga, Langerak should retain the club’s No.1 jersey for the season opener. REPORTS: Socceroo seals Premier League move And with Leckie likely to be in Hertha’s starting side, the two Aussies will go head-to-head in an intriguing opening weekend of the season in Germany.

Leckie’s Hertha travel to powerhouses Borussia Dortmund in round 2, while they host Bayern Munich in week seven at the end of September. Langerak won’t come up against champions Bayern until December.

Meanwhile in 2.Bundesliga, Caltex Socceroo striker Jamie Maclaren’s first match for new club Darmstadt will be at home to SPVGG Greuther Furth on the first weekend of August. Maclaren’s ex-Brisbane Roar teammate Brandon Borrello and his FC Kaiserslautern travel to FC Nurnberg.

The two former Hyundai A-League stars won’t have to wait long to meet, with their clubs to face each other in round two as Borrello’s Kaiserslautern host Darmstadt at the Fritz-Walter Stadion.

Source  :  Football Federation Australia


Who’ll start for the Caltex Socceroos against Saudi Arabia ?

Matthew Ryan; Milos Degenek,Bailey Wright,Trent Sainsbury,Mile Jedinak;Aaron Mooy,Tommy Rogic,Mathew Leckie;Brad Smith,Jackson Irvine,Tomi Juric .


Source : Football Federation Australia Website

Transfer news: Caltex Socceroo moves to Berlin

Mat Leckie has signed with German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.

Caltex Socceroos winger Mathew Leckie has swapped relegated Ingolstadt for a top-six Bundesliga club after signing with Hertha Berlin.


Leckie told Hertha’s website that the club first made contact about his services mid-season and that the capital-based outfit’s recent success convinced him to make the move.

While details of the transfer and contract length remain unconfirmed, the German football magazine kicker has reported Leckie has signed a four-year deal after Hertha paid Ingolstadt €3million for the 26-year-old.

Leckie has spent the past six seasons in Germany, including the last three years with Ingolstadt, who were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga over the weekend.

Hertha finished sixth, meaning they will play in the Europa League’s third qualifying for the second straight year.


“I had a few offers. Hertha stood out for various reasons,” Leckie said.

“Hertha is a big, fantastic Bundesliga club. They’ve been very successful over the last two seasons. Now they’re playing in the Europa League.

“Additionally, Berlin is great; one of the nicest cities in Germany. I also think that Pal Dardai is a great coach, who I can learn a lot from.”

The Australian added: “Last winter it was reported in the newspaper that I was a potential candidate for Hertha. That was the first time I heard the rumour.

“My agent then got in touch with the club, but at this point I was solely focussing on Ingolstadt.

“Then towards the end of the season, particularly in the last two weeks, the talks intensified.

“I met with Michael Preetz and Pal Dardai for the first time last Monday. We talked extensively and I was pleased because I realised that the club really was interested in me.”


Leckie’s speed was a critical factor for Hertha coach Dardai.

Mathew Leckie's Ingolstadt secured a crucial win which has kept their hopes of avoiding Bundesliga relegation alive.“Mathew Leckie is a versatile player and has shown that he has the pace to bomb up and down the flanks, and that’ll benefit us a lot when it comes to attacking,” Dardai told Hertha’s website.

Leckie played 30 of 34 games for Ingolstadt this season, notching three assists.

The ex-Adelaide United forward leaves Bavarian club after 10 goals in 96 appearances, while he has also previously played for FSV Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Leckie was named in Australia’s 30-man squad this week for June’s World Cup qualifier, a friendly with Brazil and the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The Caltex Socceroos tackle Saudi Arabia in a crucial World Cup Qualifer in Adelaide on June 8. Click Here for Tickets

Socceroos v Saudi Arabia banner.


Source : Football Federation Australia

Russia 2018 Asian Qualifiers : Australia 2 – 0 United Arab Emirates

Sydney: Jackson Irvine and Mathew Leckie were on the scoresheet as Australia secured a crucial 2-0 victory over the United Arab Emirates at Sydney Football Stadium on Tuesday to keep their dream of reaching the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 well and truly alive.

After four straight draws in Group B, Australia went in front on six minutes when Irvine (pictured right) headed home James Troisi’s outswinging corner from the left via a deflection off Abdelaziz Sanqour, before Omar Abdulrahman’s free-kick drew a flying save from Mathew Ryan ten minutes later.

The visitors cranked up the pressure after the interval and substitute Mohammed Abdulrahman forced Ryan into another fine save ten minutes after the restart. Troisi then missed a golden opportunity to open up a two-goal lead by firing over from eight yards on 71 minutes and Irvine saw his header well blocked by UAE ‘keeper Ali Khaseif with 12 minutes remaining.

But from Troisi’s ensuing corner, Leckie (pictured left) put the game beyond doubt by heading in from just a few yards out as the hosts opened up a four-point lead on their opponents in Group B and gave the Emiratis a mountain to climb to reach the World Cup.

Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

Caltex Socceroos weekend update-18/March/2017-19/March/2017

Winger Mat Leckie has a date with Borussia Dortmund this weekend before joining up with the Caltex Socceroos.

Winger Mat Leckie has a date with Borussia Dortmund this weekend before joining up with the Caltex Socceroos.

It’s the crucial weekend before the Caltex Socceroos meet up in Tehran ahead of next week’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Iraq.

Australia tackles Iraq in Tehran on March 24 (AEDT) before returning home to host UAE at the Sydney Football Stadium on March 28.

We take a look at the players’ schedule over the coming days for their clubs.

Mustafa Amini

AGF, in the Danish Superliga, next play in the early hours of Monday morning (AEDT) against OB.

Aziz Behich

Played 90 minutes for Bursaspor last weekend and could see more action on Monday (AEDT) with his side at home to Alanyaspor in the Turkish league.

Tim Cahill

Had the week off due to the split round in the Hyundai A-League but will be hopeful of some more minutes as Melbourne City host Newcastle Jets in the Hyundai A-League on Saturday night.

Tim Cahill

Milos Degenek

Yokohama F Marinos host Albirex Niigata on Saturday afternoon in the J-League.

Rhyan Grant

Will come into camp fresh but fit with the Sky Blues having a tough week on the track with no game due to the split round in the A-League.

Jackson Irvine

The ultra-consistent Burton Albion midfielder is set to play on Sunday (AEDT) at home to Brentford.

Mile Jedinak

The Socceroo skipper was immense in Aston Villa’s win over Sheffield Wednesday last weekend with Steve Bruce’s side next in action on Sunday away to Wigan Athletic.

Mile Jedinak's Aston Villa proved too strong for Bailey Wright's Bristol City overnight.

James Jeggo

The former Adelaide midfielder’s Sturm Graz travel to tackle Admira this weekend.

Tomi Juric

The powerful striker’s FC Luzern host third-placed Sion this weekend.

Robbie Kruse

The winger has started in both of Liaoning’s first two Chinese Super League fixtures but won’t have a chance to add to that tally before coming into camp.

Mitch Langerak

The Stuttgart shot-stopper has been in fine touch in Germany and will get another chance to impress on Saturday away to Greuther Fürth.

Socceroos v UAE banner

 Mathew Leckie

The Socceroo flyer has been a regular for FC Ingolstadt in the Bundesliga this season. Leckie’s side travel to tackle giants Borussia Dortmund on Saturday (AEDT).

Massimo Luongo

Luongo’s QPR are next in action on Sunday at home to struggling Rotherham.

Riley McGree

The shock inclusion in the squad, McGree’s Adelaide host Brisbane Roar on Sunday in the Hyundai A-League.

Mark Milligan

The versatile midfielder has been playing regularly with UAE club Bani Yas but saw red in his side’s 6-2 loss to Al Wahda last weekend. Won’t see any further action before coming into camp.

Aaron Mooy

Arguably Australia’s most important player, Mooy has enjoyed a sensational season in the English Championship with Huddersfield Town and could feature more prominently in Saturday’s fixture away to Bailey Wright’s Bristol City.

Huddersfield Town midfielder Aaron Mooy.

Mat Ryan

The keeper played 90 minutes in Genk’s Europa League Round of 16 second leg tie against Gent on Friday (AEDT) before linking with the national team.

Trent Sainsbury

Hasn’t seen any game time since his loan move to Serie A giants Inter Milan in January.  The classy defender’s next chance of match action is on Sunday with Milan away to Torino.

Brad Smith

The flying left-back has struggled for game time at EPL outfit AFC Bournemouth, who are at home to Swansea City on Sunday morning (AEDT).

James Troisi

The Victory star is arguably the hottest player in the A-League right now. Victory has the week off due to the split round but Troisi will come into camp full of confidence after a sparkling month.

James Troisi on the ball during the Socceroos' 2-2 draw with Germany in March.

Daniel Vukovic

Vukovic capped his selection with another clean sheet – his 11th of the season – in Sydney’s 1-0 win over the Mariners on Friday night. Won’t have another game before coming into camp.

Rhys Williams

Williams played a full match for Glory in last Saturday’s loss to Sydney FC. Perth not in action this week.

Bailey Wright

The no-nonsense defender has been a pillar of consistency since joining Bristol City, who are next in action on Saturday at home to Mooy’s Huddersfield Town.

Socceroos v UAE banner


Source : Football Federation Australia