Cahill given Socceroos place - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cahill given Socceroos place

25/03/2005 06:42:22 PM Comments (0)

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill has shaken off a calf knock and has been selected in Australia's soccer team to play Iraq at Telstra Stadium.

Cahill will play as the Socceroos get a first-hand glimpse of their footballing future in Sydney on Saturday night.

The match will go some way to showing what Australia's looming Asian invasion will do for the Socceroos' 2010 World Cup qualifying chances.

Iraq is ranked 44 in the world - 15 spots ahead of Australia - but still couldn't qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals.

In fact, 11 countries in the Asian Football Confederation, which Australia is set to join from next year if soccer's world governing body FIFA approves its move from Oceania, are currently ranked above the Socceroos.

With only the injured Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka absent, the Socceroos have named a side which should be close to their first-choice team for the critical South American World Cup playoff in November.

Birmingham City's Stan Lazaridis, who was also eased through training this week because of niggling injuries, has been preferred to Tony Vidmar at left-back.

And out-of-favour Crystal Palace centre-back Tony Popovic has kept his Socceroos place.

"I'm happy with it," Socceroos coach Frank Farina said of the team.

"There were a few concerns with a couple of the boys (Cahill and Lazaridis), but they seem to have come through the week okay.

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