The Socceroos’ roadmap to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup is taking shape with matches confirmed for the September and October international windows in Europe and the Middle East.
The Socceroos will play Belgium in Belgium on 4 September before taking on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 10 October and Qatar on 14 October, with both matches to be played in the Middle East.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) is also in negotiations for the Socceroos to play a second match in Europe during the September FIFA international window and two matches in Australia in November to finalise the program leading into January’s 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
The three confirmed matches give Ange Postecoglou and the Socceroos squad a good post World Cup test against 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter finalists Belgium as well as meaningful matches against fellow 2015 AFC Asian Cup countries Qatar and UAE.
“We have confirmed three opponents and hope to have three more games between now and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, which gives us good preparation for what will be a challenging tournament on Australian soil in January,” Postecoglou said.
“Belgium will give us a good post-World Cup indication of how we are progressing and then we will get some good hit outs against Asian opposition to help us prepare tactically for the Asian Cup.”
Postecoglou also stated the matches would offer opportunities to continue the development of the Socceroos side following positive performances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“Our performances in Brazil at the World Cup reaffirmed that we are moving in the right direction but it also showed we need to improve if we want to be regarded as one of the leading football nations, which is our ultimate target,” Postecoglou said.
“Our challenge going forward is to continue to improve as individuals and a team and to start converting our performances into results. These matches give us an opportunity to take further steps forward and prepare for success at the Asian Cup, which will be a wonderful tournament on Australian soil.”
All three matches will be broadcast LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.
Socceroos’ confirmed matches
4 September 2014 Belgium v Australia in Liege, Belgium
10 October 2014 UAE v Australia in the UAE
14 October 2014 Qatar v Australia in Qatar