Australia's World Cup qualification chances take massive blow

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·Sports Reporter
·2-min read
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Celtic star Tom Rogic (pictured) kisses the trophy.
Australia and Celtic star Tom Rogic (pictured) won't play for Australia in the up coming World Cup qualifier. (Getty Images)

Australia's chances of qualifying for the World Cup have taken a further hit after star player Tom Rogic withdrawing from the Socceroos squad.

The 29-year-old played a big role in helping guide Celtic - under Aussie coach Annge Postecolgu - to their 10th league title in the past 11 seasons.

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Having left the club after the season, Rogic cited personal reasons as his reason to withdraw.

The news will come as a massive blow for Australia who failed to automatically qualify for the World Cup in the Asian playoff groups.

Coach Graham Arnold will now have 28 players to choose from for the playoff match against the United Arab Emirates inn Qatar.

A victory in the June 7 (June 8 4am AEST) clash in Doha would set up a game against Peru the following week for a spot in November's World Cup.

"My focus must now be on the players we have here in Qatar," Arnold said.

"We have selected an extended squad of quality players and I believe that we will achieve something special for Australia over the next two weeks."

Socceroos WC campaign hit with absentee issues

Rogic's withdrawal comes after he and several other leading players were all unavailable for a mixture of Covid-19, injury and personal reasons during the most recent Socceroos camp in March.

Missing several big names, the Socceroos suffered back-to-back defeats to Japan and Saudi Arabia in that window to miss out on automatic qualification and be forced into the play-offs.

The remainder of the Australian squad is assembling in Doha with the Socceroos to face Jordan in a friendly match on Wednesday (Thursday 4am AEST).

with AAP

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