Garang Kuol in Australia’s World Cup squad as Sainsbury’s and Langerak miss out

<span>Photo: Dean Lewins/AAP</span>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/″ data “–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/″></div>
<p><figcaption class=Photography: Dean Lewins/AAP

Garang Kuol is yet to start a league game at senior level but the 18-year-old forward will go on to a World Cup after being included as a wildcard selection in Australia’s 26-man squad for the tournament at the Qatar.

Dubbed an ‘impact player’ by Arnold, Kuol will be joined on the plane by Central Coast Mariners teammate Jason Cummings, but in the shock selection decisions there was no room for experienced defender Trent Sainsbury’s or in-form keeper Mitch Langerak in the final. list announced by Socceroos coach Graham Arnold on Tuesday.

Related: Socceroos issues collective statement to address Qatar’s human rights record

Kuol, who will join Newcastle United in January, has been rewarded for a string of eye-catching performances on the Mariners bench since making his A-League Men debut in April this year.

The teenager made just 12 league appearances in total as a substitute and was called up to his first national team in September before making his international debut, again on the bench, in a friendly against Barcelona. New Zealand.

“Garang really showed the Mariners how he can change a game,” Arnold said. “He has no fear and he just wants to go out and play.”

Arnold said the final names he landed on were “an exciting team”.

“Over the past four years, 32 players have made their national team debuts,” he said. “I want to thank all the players who have helped the team on this journey. We called up 68 players during the qualifying campaign and each of them played a part in getting us here.

Kuol’s club-mate Cummings also made his Socceroos debut in that win over New Zealand, finding the net with a penalty after coming on as a second-half substitute in the team’s final outing before the game. World Cup.

The Scottish-born striker, who qualifies for the Socceroos thanks to his Australian mother, is given the green light over Adam Taggart in Arnold’s squad, although the Cerezo Osaka player has featured prominently in the campaign qualifying.

In goal, captain Mat Ryan seems assured of his place in the starting XI, after Nagoya goalkeeper Grampus Langerak was overlooked in the most surprising of Arnold’s selection decisions.

Langerak, who walked away from the Socceroos last year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been taken out of international retirement and selected in the squad for September matches with New Zealand .

His solid form – 14 clean sheets in 33 appearances this season – and regular J-League minutes hinted he could push Ryan for the No.1 shirt, but he didn’t feature against New Zealand and now Arnold has overlooked the 34-year-old. in favor of Danny Vukovic of Central Coast.

Qualifying playoff shootout hero Andrew Redmayne is the other keeper to include.

Attacking midfielder Ajdin Hrustic, one of the first names on Arnold’s squad roster, will fly to Qatar despite an injury picked up in Serie A which could sideline him until the match. opener against Group D favourites, France.

Harry Souttar and Martin Boyle, both likely starters, were also included despite clouds over their fitness. Key defender Souttar made a game-free return to the Stoke City squad at the weekend after knee reconstruction, while winger Boyle suffered a knee injury while playing for Hibernian last month and he is little likely to play again before arriving in Qatar.

Missing is Tom Rogic, who has barely played this year and pulled out of the Socceroos qualifying playoff without giving a reason.

The squad includes nine Tokyo 2020 Olyroos squad members in Nathaniel Atkinson, Keanu Baccus, Thomas Deng, Cameron Devlin, Joel King, Riley McGree, Kye Rowles, Souttar and Mitchell Duke as the older player.

“We have worked hard to give young players an opportunity during the campaign, to expose them to international football, to test them against the best and I am delighted with the development and maturity of this group who now have a chance on the biggest stage possible,” Arnold said.

Australia kicked off their campaign against two-time champions France on November 23 before meeting Tunisia three days later and then Denmark in the early hours of December 1 AEDT.

Australia team: Mat Ryan (captain), Nathaniel Atkinson, Keanu Baccus, Aziz Behich, Martin Boyle, Jason Cummings, Milos Degenek, Thomas Deng, Cameron Devlin, Mitchell Duke, Craig Goodwin, Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine, Fran Karacic, Joel King, Garang Kuol, Mathew Leckie, Awer Mabil, Jamie Maclaren, Riley McGree, Aaron Mooy, Andrew Redmayne, Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar, Danny Vukovic, Bailey Wright.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *