Socceroos can overcome Honiara hysteria - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Socceroos can overcome Honiara hysteria

07/10/2004 06:56:43 PM Comments (0)

Socceroos coach Frank Farina has predicted Australia will overcome Honiara hysteria and beat the Solomon Islands to qualify for the Confederations Cup despite the loss of key players.

Star forwards Harry Kewell (groin) and John Aloisi (leg) were ruled out with injury and will not travel to Honiara.

Both remain hopeful of playing in the second leg in Sydney on Tuesday night.

Crystal Palace central defender Tony Popovic was the only other member of Farina's squad in some doubt after arriving in Brisbane following the English Premier League game against Fulham.

Despite losing both Kewell and Aloisi, Farina refused to entertain the thought of soccer's 160th ranked nation standing in Australia's path to contesting the $4 million Confederations Cup in Germany next year.

"It's not even something that has crossed our minds," said Farina.

"We will qualify for the Confederations Cup."

The Solomon Islands caught the Socceroos off guard for a 2-2 draw in Adelaide in June when striker Commins Menapi slotted a goal in each half, although he is unavailable through suspension for Saturday's match.

This time the Solomons will have 21,500 fans jammed into the Lawson Tama stadium, and thousands more outside the ground.

"I don't think we under-estimated them," said Farina when asked if the Socceroos were guilty of complacency in June.

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