The Caltex Socceroos will face fellow 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists Korea Republic in Graham Arnold’s first game on Australian soil.
The new Head Coach will take his team to the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, 17 November for a re-match of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Final.
The Caltex Socceroos return to Queensland for the first time since that victorious Asian Cup campaign three years ago.
Korea Republic produced one of the biggest shocks of the 2018 FIFA World Cup by beating defending champions Germany 2-0 in the group stage.
The international friendly match was announced today by the FFA, the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.
A new dawn rises
FFA CEO David Gallop said: "It is fantastic that the first match that the Caltex Socceroos play on home soil and under new Head Coach Graham Arnold is against the Korea Republic in Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
“The last time these two teams met in the Final of the AFC Asian Cup in 2015 was a spectacular event that will long live in the memory of all who watched it.
“With the next AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) only five months away, matches like this are a crucial component of tournament preparation and all players will be looking to impress Graham.
“I would like to thank the Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council and Suncorp Stadium for their support for hosting this match in Brisbane,” concluded Gallop.
Fine tuning to defend the AFC Asian Cup
Arnold, who represented Australia 56 times as a player, said he’s delighted local fans will get to see the Caltex Socceroos in action as they prepare for the AFC Asian Cup 2019.
“To have the opportunity to play a team of the calibre of Korea Republic at home six weeks before the start of the AFC Asian Cup is perfect for our preparations,” said Arnold.
“When we play Korea Republic in Queensland it will have been just over a year since the Caltex Socceroos last played on home soil. It’s important that we bring as many high-quality matches to Australia as possible so that Australians have the opportunity to watch our top players together.
“Speaking to the players, they are all excited about coming back to Australia and playing in front of our home fans.
“Australia has a long football history with Korea Republic, so hopefully we’ll see the sold-out sign go up at Suncorp Stadium for this match,” concluded Arnold.
Get your tickets
Caltex Socceroos fans can join the Football Family during the pre-sale period by signing up for a Football Account.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the friendly game at Suncorp Stadium would attract fans from around the country and inject $5.8 million into the Queensland economy.
“Securing an international soccer match of this calibre in Brisbane is a coup for Queensland,” Ms Jones said.
“We know sporting events such as this deliver strong tourism outcomes by driving visitation.
“It will also give Socceroo fans the chance to enjoy a piece of live world-class soccer action in their own backyard.
“This international match is another great addition to Tourism and Events Queensland’s world-class major events calendar, now worth more than $780 million to the Queensland economy and we look forward to hosting tens of thousands of soccer fans at Suncorp Stadium in September.”
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the city looks forward to hosting a blockbuster friendly between the two of the best-ranked nations in the Asian Football Confederation.
“We love our sport in Brisbane, and we are proud to have the chance to welcome home the Socceroos for their first match on home soil after this year’s World Cup,” Cr Quirk said.
“Brisbane’s commitment to attracting major events has a significant impact on our economy, injecting more than $150 million into the city’s economy each year.
The match against the Korea Republic will also provide a welcome boost to the city’s hotels, with the event set to drive visitation to Brisbane and forecast to add more than 20,000 hotel room nights.
“Major events are a key growth sector for Brisbane and we’re committed to attracting and growing our calendar of events in line with the recommendations from the Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan.”
A rich history
This will be the 29th time the two nations have met since their first meeting in 1967. The last time these two nations faced each other was at the AFC Asian Cup 2015 Final in Sydney which the Caltex Socceroos won in dramatic circumstances. They last met in Brisbane earlier in the group stage of the same tournament when Korea Republic won 1-0 at Suncorp Stadium.
Following last week’s release of the latest FIFA rankings, the Caltex Socceroos are currently 43rd with Korea Republic 57th.
The match will be broadcast live throughout Australia by FOX SPORTS and Network TEN.