Heat is on for Socceroos in Kuwait - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Heat is on for Socceroos in Kuwait

By Glenn Cullen 04/09/2006 08:45:13 PM Comments (0)

The heat may be off the Socceroos given they've already qualified for the Asian Cup but they won't get to escape furnace like conditions when they play Kuwait on Wednesday (Thursday morning AEST).

There is little on the line for the encounter - Australia wrapped up its first tilt at the confederation's top trophy with a 2-0 win over the Kuwaitis in Sydney last month - but the Socceroos will get a taste of some of Asia's most extreme conditions.

Temperatures during the day have been close to 50 degrees Celsius in Kuwait City and will remain near 40 degrees for the 8.30pm kickoff.

For coach Graham Arnold, that's a good thing.

"I have been pretty much all around the world and played in a lot of nations but the heat is quite horrendous," he said from Kuwait City on Monday.

"(We'll) train later on and have recovery sessions during the morning and stay in the hotel to be out of the heat.

"But this is part of moving into Asia - this is what I'll be saying to the boys - `welcome to Asia and this is what we could come up against'.

"We are taking people out of their comfort zones and it is going to be a great test and a great challenge for everyone but it is part of where we are going from now on."

They weren't heat related but there have already been two casualties with assistant coach John Kosmina pulling the pin after flight problems and midfielder Jason Culina suffering a hamstring tear with Dutch club side PSV Eindhoven.

Arnold said he would select the remaining seven World Cup Socceroos in the starting team, leaving four spots for the interim coach to figure out over the next two days.

"Jason is a blow definitely because I had him figured in my plans heavily in the starting line up," Arnold admitted, saying Josip Skoko, Brett Holman, Nick Ward or Jacob Burns could potentially fill the hole.

Style-wise Australia will play a less direct game, the conditions dictating the visitors won't be pressing forward as much as they'd like.

"I think we'll have to do away with that," Arnold said.

"We'll be minimising that space behind us."

With Australia's rise in the world soccer hierarchy following a second round performance at the World Cup, Arnold said motivation was no longer a factor despite the match being a dead rubber.

The biggest problem other than the weather will be sorting out a left-sided role in the midfield.

Arnold felt Australia lacked depth in the area and hinted throwing pacey Romania-based Ryan Griffiths into a role on the flank.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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