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Australia have done what was expected of them, but no more in what eventually turned out to be a five-nil defeat of Nepal in their second qualifying match on the long road to the 2022 FIFA World Cup at GIO Stadium in Canberra.
The Socceroos will look to keep pushing ahead during the second round of FIFA World Cup qualification when they take on Nepal in Canberra. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 8pm (AEDT).
Australia shouldn’t drop a match during this second round of qualification, with their group containing Jordan, Kuwait, Nepal and Chinese Taipei.
They started their campaign to qualify the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with a 3-0 win on the road against Kuwait, and now get to play their first home game against one of the minnows of Asian football.
While Australia aren’t at a historical high point, ranked 44, Nepal are currently sitting at 161 and unfortunately, the rankings difference will tell you all you need to know about this contest and the likely outcome.
Nepal have been hindered by having to play their first four qualification games away from home due to earthquake damage at their only stadium which is capable of hosting international football, but in truth, it wouldn’t matter where this match is being played.
The Nepalese started their campaign with a 7-0 flogging at the hands of Kuwait, and while they did bounce back to beat Chinese Taipei 2-0 in their second match, those teams are likely to battle for the bottom two spots in the group.
The only adversity in Australia’s preparation for this match is the loss of Massimo Luongo, who misses with a minor knee injury. He is replaced in the squad by Dimitri Petratos, who is a chance to feature from Graham Arnold’s bench.
The Socceroos are mainly made up of players based in Europe, with only Rhyan Grant, Jamie Maclaren, Petratos and Andrew Redmayne included from the A-League. Maclaren is a chance to play based on his exceptional pre-season and FFA Cup form for Melbourne City, but the likes of Aaron Mooy and Matthew Leckie should have a field day against the inexperienced Nepalese side.
Nepal have made no changes to the side who beat Chinese Taipei, with 21-year-old Anjan Bista their key man up front, having scored both goals in that match.
Rohit Chand, who plays for Persija Jakarta, will need to lead the defensive effort, while goalkeeper and captain Kiran Chemjong, who is set for his 63rd cap, could be in for a busy night.
There is a significant class difference between the two sides, and playing in Canberra, something will have gone wrong for Graham Arnold’s side if this match is still alive at halftime.
It should be a flogging.
Australia 6-0 Nepal.
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Kick-off: 8pm (AEDT)
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
TV: Live, Fox Sports, ABC
Online: Live, Kayo Sports, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Iview
Betting: Australia $1.01, draw $23, Nepal $126
Overall record: Never played
Referee: Thoriq Munir Alkatiri (Indonesia)
Mitchell Langerak (GK), Andrew Redmayne (GK), Mathew Ryan (GK), Mustafa Amini, Aziz Behich, Brandon Borrello, Milos Degenek, Apostolos Giannou, Craig Goodwin, Rhyan Grant, Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine, James Jeggo, Mathew Leckie, Awer Mabil, Jamie Maclaren, Mark Milligan (c), Aaron Mooy, Dimitri Petratos, Brad Smith, Harry Souttar, Adam Taggart, Bailey Wright
Kiran Chemjong (c, GK), Bikesh Kuthu (GK), Bishal Shrestha (GK), Rohit Chand, Ananta Tamang, Devendra Tamang, Dinesh Rajbanshi, Suman Aryal, Ranjit Dhimal, Ajit Bhandari, Saroj Dahal, Sujal Shrestha, Bikram Lama, Heman Gurung, Sunil Bal, Santosh Tamang, Tej Tamang, Bimal Gharti Magar, Anjan Bista, Nawayug Shrestha, Ravi Paswan, Abhishek Rijal