International

Australia look to upset odds in Group C

2017-12-02 10:30
FIFA World Cup Trophy (Supplied)
FIFA World Cup Trophy (Supplied)

Sydney - Australia's Socceroos are optimistic of getting through the group stage despite drawing higher-ranked teams at the 2018 World Cup, officials said Saturday.

READ: Full 2018 World Cup draw

The Socceroos, who are searching for a new national team coach following the resignation of Ange Postecoglou upon qualifying, are grouped with former winner France, Denmark and Peru in Group C.

"It is obvious when you are in Pot 4 that you are going to come up against three strong opponents, and if you look at the FIFA rankings that's what we've got," assistant coach Ante Milicic said from Moscow.

"Although it's a difficult group we believe in ourselves and definitely (can) advance, progress from the group."

One football writer tweeted: "So Socceroos draw 9th, 11th and 12th ranked teams in world. That's a huge ask."

Milicic was happy with the favourable logistics of the draw for Australia, who qualified for their fourth consecutive World Cup finals after beating Honduras 3-1 in this month's CONCACAF-Asia play-off.

Australia will play France in Kazan (June 16), Denmark in Samara (June 21), and Peru in Sochi (June 26) at next year's international showpiece.

"In terms of logistics, we couldn't really be happier with the draw," Milicic said.

Milicic said he was "quite pleased" to have plumped for Kazan as a training venue given the draw.

"We checked out close to 12 training bases ... and we're very comfortable with the facility. We think it will suit our squad well," he said.

"Playing the first game in Kazan where our team base is is definitely an advantage. And to close the group stage we must be pleased to go back to Sochi, a city and stadium that we visited during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

"We know that in tournaments like this you need to start well and that's what we'll intend to do.

"We will approach this group with the aim to progress to the next round, and I am sure that the players will be looking forward to the challenge."

Read more on:    australia  |  2018 world cup  |  soccer
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