Australia names 29-man squad for final World Cup qualifiers

Frankfurt's Ajdin Hrustic, left, and Leverkusen's Charles Aranguiz challenge for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt in Leverkusen, Germany, Monday, May 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Two players who achieved recent European club honors were among a squad of 29 named by Socceroos coach Graham Arnold on Saturday for Australia’s final World Cup qualifying campaign in Qatar in June.

Ajdin Hrustic became a Europa League champion with Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville this month while Tom Rogic won the Scottish Premier League with Celtic FC.

The players are set to arrive in Qatar’s capital Doha over the next three days as Australia attempts to qualify for a fifth consecutive World Cup.

The Socceroos’ qualification hopes come down to a playoff match against United Arab Emirates on June 7 at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. If Australia wins that match, it will play Peru on June 13 at the same stadium.

The winner of the UAE-Australia match vs. Peru will join Group D featuring France, Denmark, and Tunisia at the World Cup which will be held between Nov. 21 and Dec. 18.

“We have selected a large squad for this window for a few reasons, but first and foremost because so many of our players have been in great form for their clubs over recent months,“ Arnold said. “Additionally, with several players set to enter the UAE match on yellow cards, we needed to ensure that we have cover in every area to ensure we’re not caught short at any time.”

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