Socceroos drawn against familiar foes Jordan in World Cup qualifying

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With Socceroos legend Tim Cahill's fingers not his feet working their magic in Kuala Lumpur, Australia have drawn Nepal, Jordan, Taiwan and Kuwait in the second AFC qualifying round for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which also serves as first qualifiers for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

Graham Arnold's Socceroos, in Pot 1 as a top seeded AFC nation, have been drawn against Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Kuwait and Nepal in Group B of the second round of Asia qualifying for Qatar 2022.

Jordan, who defeated Australia at this stage of qualifying for the last World Cup and more recently in their opening match of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in January, pose the biggest threat.

The Socceroos are gunning for a fifth-straight World Cup appearance and head one of eight groups made up of 40 nations in the Asian confederation.

The teams in all groups will play home and away fixtures from September 2019 to June 2020 with the group winners and four best runners-up advancing to the final stage of qualifying.

"We are happy with our draw," Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said.

"My first game in charge was in Kuwait City, and we won 4-0, so we have been there and experienced Kuwait as a group.

"There are two teams that we have drawn (Kuwait and Jordan) that we have experience against and two teams that we are not as familiar with.

"But we will do our due diligence and ensure that we take every game as it comes and respect each match.

"We have worked with 80 players across the Socceroos and Olyroos over the past year, so I believe with the depth that we have we are well positioned to deal with the qualifiers."

Australia begin their campaign against Kuwait away on September 10.

Korea Republic and North Korea have been drawn together but political tension has recently softened between the two with the teams marching together at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and fielding a combined side in women's ice hockey.

In other politically sensitive matchups, Iran has been grouped with Iraq, and Saudi Arabia with Yemen.

Draw for second round of Asian qualifying for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup:

Group A - China, Syria, Philippines, Maldives, Guam

Group B - Australia, Jordan, Taiwan, Kuwait, Nepal

Group C - Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Cambodia

Group D - Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Yemen, Singapore

Group E - Qatar, Oman, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh

Group F - Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Myanmar, Mongolia

Group G - United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia

Group H - South Korea, Lebanon, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka

 

Source AAP and SBS The World Game