Socceroos to begin buildup to Asian Cup against South Korea in Brisbane

Socceroos to begin buildup to Asian Cup against South Korea in Brisbane
Socceroos to begin buildup to Asian Cup against South Korea in Brisbane

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has hailed November’s friendly against South Korea in Brisbane as the perfect warm-up for the defence of their Asian Cup title.

The fixture, locked in for 17 November at Suncorp Stadium, will be Australia’s first match on home soil in more than a year. It will also be the first time the Socceroos have faced South Korea since beating them 1-0 in the final of the 2015 Asian Cup.

The Socceroos will defend their continental crown in the United Arab Emirates in January.

The Taegeuk Warriors didn’t make it out of the group stage in the recent World Cup in Russia but did score an impressive 2-0 win over Germany, and shape as formidable opponents for Arnold’s new-look Australia.

“To be able to play against a quality opposition in the Korea Republic only six weeks before our defence of the Asian Cup in the UAE is a wonderful opportunity for us,” Arnold said.

“Obviously Korea Republic performed very well at the World Cup and it’ll be a great test for us. I know speaking to the players it’s been a very, very long time since they’ve played here in Australia.

“For me this is preparation for the Asian Cup, getting the boys together, getting them back on home soil and thanking the fans for their wonderful support in and around Russia.”

Outside of the 2015 Asian Cup, the Socceroos haven’t played at Suncorp Stadium since a World Cup qualifier against Japan in June 2012.

Arnold, who has taken over from Bert van Marwijk, is planning to hold a training camp in Turkey next month to introduce an “extended squad” to his new coaching staff and his methods.

His first match in charge is likely to be staged in Europe in October, with another friendly being finalised for the November window – rumoured to be against either India, Panama or Lebanon.

A formal farewell for retired Socceroos great Tim Cahill is also on the cards but Arnold was unable to confirm if it would take place in Brisbane or at another time.

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