Ange Postecoglou ready for World Cup challenge

SOCCEROOS coach Ange Postecoglou says the team will head into the unknown when it kicks off its campaign for a berth at the 2018 World Cup against Kyrgyzstan on June 16.

Australia, the winner of this year's Asian Cup held on home soil, has also drawn Jordan, Tajikistan and Bangladesh in Group B for the first stage of World Cup qualification.

Of the other four teams in the group, Postecoglou said the Socceroos had played only Jordan, the two clashes resulting in a win and a loss.

"The draw is going to be an interesting challenge for us," he said. "Jordan we've played before and we know well, but the other three countries will be a challenge on many fronts for us.

"We don't know much at all (about Kyrgyzstan), but over the last 18 months we've worked hard off the field and on the field."

Kyrgyzstan is ranked 153 in the world, and has never qualified for either the World Cup finals, or the Asian Cup finals.

The qualifying tournament will involve home and away matches against each team, starting in June and finishing in March next year. Australia's first home game will be against Bangladesh at nib Stadium in Perth on September 3.

The top team in each of the eight groups, plus the four best-performed runners-up, will advance to the final round of World Cup qualification, and also the 2019 Asian Cup finals.


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