Australia’s Socceroos will take on Japan, Saudi Arabia, China PR, Oman, and Vietnam in the Final Round of AFC Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, after the draw for the Final Round was conducted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday.
The draw, conducted by AFC General Secretary D’ato Windsor John, saw Australia pooled in Group B of qualification, with Group A containing IR Iran, Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
The Socceroos earned a place in the Final Round of Asian qualifying for Qatar 2022 after producing a clean sweep of Group B in the last phase, highlighted by seven wins on foreign soil. In June, Australia completed its run of Round Two fixtures with a string of four wins from as many matches in difficult, hub-based conditions in Kuwait City.
With the draw for the Final Round of qualifying now complete, the Socceroos’ path to Qatar 2022 is clear. To qualify for a fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup™, Australia must finish either first or second in Group B, which includes ten matches to be played from September 2021 to March 2022, to qualify directly. A third-place finish would send the Socceroos to a play-off against the third-place team from Group A, followed by an intercontinental play-off.
Following the draw, Socceroos Head Coach, Graham Arnold, who will also guide Australia’s Olyroos at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, explained that he and his fellow coaches and staff are pleased with the draw outcome.
Please click here to access post-draw reaction and comments from Socceroos Head Coach, Graham Arnold.
“I think it was a great draw for us,” Arnold said. “Obviously when you get to this stage of the World Cup qualifiers every game is going to be tough, but the fact that we have got a mixture of Middle East nations as well as well as East Asian nations is great.”
“We have been to those places before, so it won’t throw up any surprises to us. Overall, I feel that it is a very good draw for us and it is one that we are looking forward to.
“All the staff are very happy with the draw. We are very confident and we have got a lot of belief in our boys. The fact that we played, out of the World Cup qualifiers in the second phase seven away from home, we are getting used to being and playing away from home – especially playing a lot of football here in the Middle East. The boys are getting more and more comfortable with it which is fantastic.
“It is always great when you have got some clarity around things and now we can start planning. One of the biggest things obviously is being able to play our games in Australia, and if we can do that, or we can’t. That is one thing that the organisation (Football Australia) will get some clarity on over the next week or so, and then it is about playing either at home, or playing away from home. We’ve still got those things in front of us to look at and deal with but overall it is a great Draw.”
AFC Asian Qualifiers – Round to Qatar (Final Round)
AFC Asian Qualifiers – Round to Qatar (Final Round) Match Schedule
|Thursday, 2 September 2021||AUSTRALIA v China PR||TBC/TBC|
|Tuesday, 7 September 2021||Vietnam v AUSTRALIA||TBC/TBC|
|Thursday, 7 October 2021||AUSTRALIA v Oman||TBC/TBC|
|Tuesday, 12 October 2021||Japan v AUSTRALIA||TBC/TBC|
|Thursday, 11 November 2021||AUSTRALIA v Saudi Arabia||TBC/TBC|
|Tuesday, 16 November 2021||China PR v AUSTRALIA||TBC/TBC|
|Thursday, 27 January 2021||AUSTRALIA v Vietnam||TBC/TBC|
|Tuesday, 1 February 2021||Oman v AUSTRALIA||TBC/TBC|
|Thursday, 24 March 2021||AUSTRALIA v Japan||TBC/TBC|
|Tuesday, 29 March 2021||Saudi Arabia v AUSTRALIA||TBC/TBC|