• Ryan McGowan and Tom Rogic (Getty Images)
The Socceroos may not know their 2018 FIFA World Cup fate until the morning after their must-win clash against Thailand.
Source:
AAP
21 Jul 2017 - 1:45 PM  UPDATED 21 Jul 2017 - 1:45 PM

Owing to time differences and expected scorching temperatures in Western Asia, FIFA has determined the final round of Asian Group B qualifiers due to be played on Tuesday, September 5 will not kick off simultaneously.

That could mean a nervous wait - or a sleepless night - for fans hoping for certainty from Australia's match against Thailand, which will be played at 8pm local time at Melbourne's AAMI Park.

Even if the Socceroos win, it may not be until the conclusion of Saudi Arabia's meeting with Japan in Jeddah, which begins at 3.30am AEST the following morning, that the road to Russia becomes clear.

AAMI Park to host pivotal Socceroos World Cup qualifier
Melbourne's AAMI will host Australia's vital match against Thailand in the final group game of their World Cup qualifying campaign in early September.

Unless Ange Postecoglou's men can upset Japan in their penultimate qualifier in Saitama on August 31, the Socceroos may need a favourable result from the Saudi-Japan clash to confirm a fourth consecutive World Cup appearance.

Otherwise, a play-off against the third-placed team in Group A - currently Uzbekistan - and then another two-legged clash with the fourth-placed CONCACAF qualifier - currently Panama - will be on the cards.

Japan currently sit atop Group A with Saudi Arabia second, tied for points with third-placed Australia but ahead by one on goal difference.