Australia announce preliminary squad for World Cup qualifying playoff against Syria

Published September 19th, 2017 - 05:36 GMT
Australia national team
Australia national team

Forgotten striker Nikita Rukavytsya has been included in Australia's preliminary 30-man squad for the make-or-break World Cup qualifying playoff against Syria.

The 30-year-old has scored four goals in seven games for Israeli top-flight side Maccabi Haifa and could get the chance to add to his 13 caps - with his last appearance coming in a friendly against Canada in 2013.

Skipper Mile Jedinak, who failed to make Aston Villa's squad on the weekend, could play his first national team game since the qualifier against Saudi Arabia in June if he overcomes injury and match fitness issues.

Experienced centre-half Matthew Spiranovic has been axed with defensive options Aziz Behich, Matthew Jurman and Josh Risdon coming into the squad.

Coach Ange Postecoglou has heeded calls for Dutch-based winger Craig Goodwin to be included while midfielder James Jeggo again makes the initial cut.

"There is a short turnaround from the last matches so we are fully focused on these upcoming fixtures against Syria," Postecoglou said.

"The players that we have selected for these crucial matches all have the benefit of several club matches under their belts over the past few weeks, and I am confident whichever 23 players we settle on will be able to do the job next month.

"Now that the match venues have been confirmed, we will prepare for our fixtures against Syria just like every other international opposition we faced throughout this campaign."

Australia will play the first leg against Syria in Malacca, Malaysia on October 5, before hosting the home leg at ANZ Stadium five days later.

The winner of the tie will face a two-leg playoff against fourth-place in CONCACAF for a spot in Russia.

Socceroos 30 man squad


Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak, Danny Vukovic, Mark Birighitti


Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Mathew Jurman, Ryan McGowan, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Bailey Wright


Mustafa Amini, Craig Goodwin, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, James Jeggo, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Awer Mabil, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, James Troisi,


Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Jamie Maclaren, Nikita Rukavytsya

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