Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan believes the nation’s World Cup playoff experience will be an advantage as Australia attempts to qualify for the Qatar 2022 with two cut-throat matches.
The green and gold will first need to negotiate a playoff against UAE (Wed June 8, 4am AEST), before the winner will take on Peru (Tues Jun 14, 4am (AEST) for a spot in November’s World Cup.
While the general feeling is that Australia will struggle to win both matches to book their Qatar ticket, captain Ryan pointed out that qualification is still in the Socceroos’ own hands, with the nation getting to the World Cup via the playoffs on two previous occasions.
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“Our chances are like they’ve been all the way through,” Ryan told LaLiga media.
‘It’s still alive. It’s still there. It’s all down to us. It depends on us.
“This would be the fifth World Cup in a row we’ve qualified for and the previous four, two I think have been directly, and two have been through play-offs.
“It doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you get there and us as Australians tend to do things the hard way.”
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Speaking on Australia’s opponents UAE and potential foe Peru, Ryan revealed his confidence for the contest against the Middle Eastern team and spoke of the advantage he believed Australia has over the South Americans.
“First and foremost, the UAE. Fully confident in our ability as a team that we can get the job done against them,” Ryan said.
“Then we’ve got the second play-off game there against Peru. Looking at any advantage we have, we’ve already played some qualifying games already in Qatar, in the campaign thus far, got some experience in doing that.
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“Based on the last camp, we’ve got some real key personnel that will be fit again and coming back.
“We blooded some new talent in the last camp as well, we’ve given guys some great experience and they showed also that they stepped up and that creates more competition for places.
“Using all of those tools and putting it into place, I believe very much so that we can go and qualify for Qatar come the end of the year.”