Arnold admitted that Australia likes the “hard way” of qualifying, but insisted that his team is ready for the confrontation in Doha’s Ahmad bin Ali Stadium. Coach Graham Arnold is banking on “Aussie mental strength” to lead his team to a victory over the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday and into another World Cup playoff fight.

Arnold confessed that Australia prefers the “hard way” of qualifying, but stressed that his team is ready for the confrontation in Doha’s Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

On June 13, the victor will face Peru in the same air-conditioned stadium for a spot in the finals, which will begin in Qatar in November. The last qualifying slot will be decided by a match between New Zealand and Costa Rica a day later.

Due to coronavirus travel restrictions, Australia has played 14 of its 18 qualifying round games in the Middle East, according to Arnold, who also praised the team’s track record of making the finals through playoffs.

“Australia is accustomed to doing things the hard way. This is our seventh playoff appearance, and we’ve had enough of practice “Before their final training session on Monday, the coach addressed a news conference.

His biggest responsibility, he added, would be to psychologically prepare a squad that, while reaching the finals for the sixth time in a row, has struggled to recover after losing the opening goal.

“Right now, we have a really strong bunch of guys that have a lot of confidence in themselves.” We are physically prepared for this game.

“We have had a number of guys miss games in the past because of Covid and overseas travel. But now all of it has been eliminated,” he explained.

“Mentally, the lads are in terrific spirits, and I feel we will get through without mental Aussie strength.”

Forward Mitchell Duke, a second-division player in Japan, predicted that the game would be exciting “It was a wonderful moment. The lads are well aware of the stakes.”

A few hundred Australian fans are likely to attend the game, which will pit them against tens of thousands of UAE fans who are travelling in to watch their team qualify for the first time since 1990.

“We are playing the most crucial match in our country’s history,” Caio Canedo, a Brazilian-born player for the Emirates, remarked.


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