Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Australia look to Tim Cahill again

Socceroos Juric gain could pile on Maclaren pain
Patty Aguilar | 07 June, 2018, 23:48

Tim Cahill looks set to play in a fourth World Cup finals at the age of 38 this month after being included in Bert van Marwijk's final 23-man Australia squad for Russian Federation on Sunday. While granting 23 players a place on sport's biggest stage, the Dutchman also had to tell James Troisi, Fran Karačić, Nikita Rukavytsya and Josh Brillante they would not be travelling to Russian Federation.

The victory over a Czech side that failed to qualify for the tournament in Russian Federation was the first for the Socceroos outside Australia since a 1-0 win over the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi in September 2016.

Van Marwijk, who will hand the reins to outgoing Sydney FC coach and Graham Arnold after Russian Federation, is aware of the size of the task he has been handed but is also a realist, and a pragmatist.

"I personally think he should be there", Johnston told Omnisport.

"My goal is to survive the first round. then I will be very happy", Van Marwijk said.

Van Marwijk said that despite his experience in cutting players, the decision to leave out footballers on the verge of World Cup selection is the most hard part of his job. "I like to work with people I like to work with", he said.

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The big plus was the brilliant form of Aaron Mooy, who produced arguably his best performance in green and gold, playing in a conducter role from a deep midfield position.

Van Marwijk may only be with the side for the Cup run, but by selecting the 19-year-old he'll leave a long term legacy with the national team. "I wanted to give him a real chance". I got him because of the injury to Juric.

"(Arzani's) improving but he has to learn a lot", van Marwijk said. "I need it myself, too".

Australia claimed an impressive 4-0 win over Czech Republic in their first World Cup warm-up match, with Mathew Leckie getting a brace and Andrew Nabbout justifying his selection in attack by scoring his first global goal.

Leckie got his second 18 minutes from time, before a late Jakub Jugas own goal saw Australia clinch a victory which suggests they are in good shape with just one more preparation game scheduled before facing France in Kazan in their World Cup opener on June 16.

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