Socceroos coach, Ange Postecoglou, puts a positive spin on what is being deemed a horror draw.
This is the group that awaits the Socceroos. Source: AFP
SO it’s not just the World Cup, but the world champions, that awaits the Socceroos.
Australia will face a hugely difficult task to qualify from Group B at next year’s World Cup after drawing the holders, Spain, European giants Holland and South American qualifiers Chile at this morning’s draw in Brazil.
Ange Postecoglou’s men will kick off what will inevitably be termed a group of death against Chile on June 13 in Cuiba, the day after the opening game of the tournament between Brazil and Croatia, then face Holland in Porto Alegre on June 18 – before tackling Spain on June 23 in the final group game in Curitiba.
The Socceroos have been dealt a horror draw for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. They will face Chile, Netherlands and defending champions Spain.
As if that wasn’t hard enough, should Australia upset the odds and qualify in second place in Group B, they would face the hosts, Brazil, in the Round of 16.
World Cup Groups
- Group A
- Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon
- Group B
- Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
- Group C
- Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
- Group D
- Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
- Group E
- Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
- Group F
- Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria
- Group G
- Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
- Group H
- Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea
“It probably couldn’t be tougher, but it’s exciting – I look at the teams and they all play good football, it’s not just that they’re strong teams. It’s our chance to play our part in that, and I’m looking forward to it,” Postecoglou said.
Adam Peacock and Andy Harper run us through Australia’s group, including where they will play and how coach Ange Postecoglou reacted.
“We’ll go there to play football, we’ve got a chance to make some headlines ourselves. I don’t think many people will give us much chance in this group, so that’s an opportunity in itself.
“It probably is [the toughest group]. The Netherlands and Chile could easily have been seeded when you look at their qualification campaigns. So it’s a tough group but an exciting group.
“Anyone watching will see some exciting football played and we can play a part.”
Spain sauntered to qualification in Europe’s Group I, winning six of eight games, drawing the other two and relegating France to a play off.
Holland, who lost the 2010 final to Spain 1-0, cruised through qualifying under veteran coach Louis van Gaal registering 28 of a possible 30 points against Romania, Turkey and an improving Hungary.
Playing a swashbuckling style of football reminiscent of the 2010 World Cup coach Marcelo Bielsa, Chile finished third in South American qualifying behind Argentina and Colombia.
The climate will also be a major factor with temperatures in Cuiba often topping 30C in Cuiba, but often down to single figures in Porto Alegre – although Curitiba averages a pleasant 20C.
The Socceroos’ fate was determined amid typical FIFA largesse, in a draw ceremony for the 20th World Cup that cost more than $16m to stage. For reasons likely to be connected to avoiding more demonstrations by disaffected Brazilians, it was held at the Costa do Sauipe resort on Brazil’s north eastern coastline – a seriously up-market holiday destination some 75km from the nearest city, Salvador.
It was a dramatic draw in Brazil overnight. Source: Getty Images
Presented by Brazilian actors Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert, the teams were drawn by iconic names from previous tournaments l include England’s 1966 hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst, France’s Zinedine Zidane, Brazil’s Cafu and Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro.
Around 2000 media attended, with the draw itself now rivalling some international sporting events for the attention and money lavished upon it.