Socceroos set for series against New Zealand

The Socceroos’ match against New Zealand will go ahead as scheduled at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday week, despite it being a national day of mourning to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

September 22 was on Sunday announced as a national public holiday and Australia’s official day to mourn the late Queen, who died last week aged 96.

However, the Socceroos-All Whites clash – the first in a two-match series between the nations – will take place as planned that night in Brisbane after Football Australia received Federal government approval for the game to be played as scheduled.

Australia’s squad for the series, which concludes with a match at Auckland’s Eden Park on September 25, will be announced on Wednesday, with a least 30 players set to be named by Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.

In good news for Arnold, Socceroos playmaker Ajdin Hrustic made his Italian Serie A debut for Hellas Verona on Monday morning.

Hrustic, who joined Verona this month from German club Eintracht Frankfurt, came on as a 70th-minute substitute in his new club’s 2-0 away loss to Lazio.

It was also a losing weekend for Socceroos captain and goalkeeper Mat Ryan, whose Danish outfit FC Copenhagen was beaten 2-1 by Odense.

Socceroos winger Awer Mabil was also on the wrong end of a scoreline in Spain, where his struggling Cadiz side was thrashed 4-0 by Barcelona.

Mabil came off the bench in the 72nd minute in the latest defeat for the cellar dwellers, who have started the La Liga season with five successive losses.

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