2018 World Cup Qualifer Preview- Kyrgyzstan vs. Australia

2018 wcq

With the Asian Cup triumph now over 5 months ago, it’s time to look forward to the beginning of the long and winding road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia with the Socceroos beginning their journey with a tricky first up trip to Bishkek.

Australia were drawn into Group B with the aforementioned Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Bangladesh and Jordan.

Since being crowned as champions of Asia, Australia have only had the one game, a 2-2 draw in Kaiserslautern against World Champions Germany.

The Socceroos have been preparing for this qualifier with a week long camp in the heat of Dubai before arriving in the Kyrgyzstani capital yesterday ahead of the game.

The travelling Australian squad is largely the same as the one which was so successful in January, however Ange Postecoglou has added a couple of youngsters to the mix with Croatian based defender Tomislav Mrcela and young Perth midfielder Daniel De Silva both in with a chance of making their debuts.

From a Brisbane perspective Matt McKay is in the squad once again, while former Brisbane players Ivan Franjic and Tommy Oar are also in the travelling party.

Socceroos squad to face Kyrgyzstan
Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan, Mitchell Langerak, Eugene Galekovic
Defenders: Matthew Spiranovic, Ivan Franjic, Jason Davidson, Alex Wilkinson, Aziz Behich, Bailey Wright, Tarek Elrich, Tomislav Mrcela.
Midfielders: Mile Jedinak, Matt McKay, James Troisi, Tommy Oar, Oliver Bozanic, Chris Ikonomidis, Daniel De Silva.
Forwards: Tim Cahill, Matthew Leckie, Tomi Juric, Nathan Burns.

The majority of the Kyrgyzstan players ply their trade in their homeland, with 19 of the 22 home based players representing just two clubs (Dordoi and Alga). That group includes the captain, Azamat Baymatov, a 26 year old defender with just 15 caps to his name.

Of the foreign based contingent, most are based in Eastern Europe with players coming from the lower leagues in Russia, Germany and Ukraine. The big danger man to watch could well be Anton Zemlianukhin, whose two goals at the weekend helped see of Bangladesh. The 26 year old, who plays in Serbia for Radnicki Nis has 5 goals in just 13 internationals.

Kyrgyzstan squad to face Australia
Goalkeepers: Maksim Agapov, Ruslan Amirov, Pavel Matiash, Valery Kashuba.
Defenders: Marat Ajiniyazov, Azamat Baymatov, Talant Samsaliev, Sherzod Shakirov, Kursanbek Sheratov, Daniel Tagoe, Mustafa Yusupov, Valerii Kichin, Tamirlan Kozubaev.
Midfielders: Edgar Bernhardt, Sergej Evljuskin, Viktor Maier, Vadim Kharchenko, Kairat Zhyrgalbek Uulu, Anton Zemliannukhin, Aziz Sydkov, Bakhitar Duyshobekov, Farhat Musabekov, Akhlidin Israilov, Ildar Amirov, Pavel Sidorenko, Tursunail Rustamov.
Forwards: Almazbek Mirzaliev, David Tetteh, Mirlan Murzaev, Vitalij Lux.

Round 2 qualifying in Group B got underway at the weekend, with Kyrgyzstan having an impressive first up win on the road against Bangladesh. Australia meanwhile had a bye for the first game.

Matchday 1 results
Bangladesh (1) O.G 32′ (Kichin)
Kyrgyzstan (3) Zemlianukhin 8′, 41′, Bernhardt 29′ p.k

Table going into Matchday 2


Matchday 2 fixtures
Bangladesh vs. Tajikistan
Kyrgyzstan vs. Australia

The road to Russia gets underway tonight and it promises to be another exciting journey. Kick-off is at 12.00am, with the game being shown live on Fox. For those without subscription TV the game will also be broadcast on SBS1 on an hour delay.

It’s also worth noting that the Matildas play their 3rd and final Group game of the 2015 tomorrow morning in Canada, with a draw enough to see the girls progress for the third successive time. Best of luck to the girls, a squad which includes seven Brisbane Roar players.


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