Australia leaves Cahill at home for Thailand qualifier
RECORD scorer Tim Cahill has been left out of Australia’s squad for their World Cup qualifier against Thailand as he recovers from “soreness”, the team said yesterday.
The 36-year-old veteran, who now plays for Melbourne City after 18 years abroad, also missed last weekend’s ALeague win over Adelaide United.
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said Cahill, who has scored a record 48 goals for his country, was being rested rather than dropped for the game on November 15.
“Tim has been left out primarily because we have a 10-day lead-in ... and I want to be able to put the squad through a lot of work,” Postecoglou said.
“He has done a lot of travel for club and country and I have decided it is better he remains in Melbourne where he is being managed well to ensure he is back on the park as soon as possible and ready for us down the track,” he added.
Cheering will be banned at the qualifier in Bangkok and fans must wear “sombre colours” as Thailand mourns its late king, who died last month.
As the final round of qualifying for Russia 2018 hits the halfway stage, Australia lie second in their group, two points behind Saudi Arabia, with Japan third.
“With the group so tight it is important that we put in a good performance to ensure we can continue to be amongst the front runners,” Postecoglou said.
Postecoglou brought in Japanbased striker Nathan Burns, Perth Glory fullback Josh Risdon, Milos Degenek, who plays for German side 1860 Munich, and Brisbane Roar forward Jamie Maclaren.
They replace Cahill, Apo Giannou, Chris Ikonomidis and Ryan McGowan, who were all included for last month’s games against Saudi Arabia and Japan. –