For Australia, it could have been worse
THIS is the group that could see Australia advance to the knockout stage of a World Cup for the first time since 2006. France, Denmark and Peru. It’s no “group of death” like the one we faced in Brazil, where a section containing Spain, the Netherlands and Chile gave us no chance of making it out alive.
Four years on, the green and gold army — both players and fans alike — will head to ing would have been longing to be drawn in Group A with Russia, Egypt and Uruguay.
That “honour” went to Saudi Arabia, which pipped us in qualifying and which will now open the tournament with the world’s eyes upon it.
But Socceroos diehards didn’t have long to await their fate.
The glass half empty view is that we are up against it in a group containing the world’s ninth (France), 11th (Peru) and 12th (Denmark) ranked sides.
But it could have been worse, much worse.
The hardest game, France, is first up, and there are two massive wins from that fixture.
The game will be played in Kazan, where the Socceroos will base themselves for the tournament; and it will be at 8pm (AEST) on Saturday, June 16, a huge boost for the sport here.
The Denmark game is at 1am on Friday, June 22 in Samara and the Peru game at midnight on Wednesday, June 27 in Sochi. Make no mistake. The bookies already have the Socceroos finishing bottom of this group.
And players, fans and media in each of France, Denmark and Peru will be rapt to have Australia as an opponent — they won’t rate us at all.
And while the draw absolutely could have been kinder to us, we definitely don’t want to be in the shoes of, say, Iran, which drew Spain and Portugal and are Buckley’s chance of making it out of the group.