MELBOURNE - Australia will meet Serbia in a
friendly on June 7 in Melbourne to tune up for their qualifying
campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Football Federation
Australia (FFA) said on Thursday.
Australia, who beat Serbia 2-1 in the group stage of the
2010 finals in South Africa in their only previous meeting, are
playing New Zealand in Adelaide two days before the Serbia game.
"This is a great opportunity to see the future of the
Socceroos as they prepare for the next World Cup qualification
process which kicks off in September of this year," FFA CEO Ben
Buckley told reporters.
"I think we're going to see the best of the golden
generation of players as well as the next generation of
"I know (Serbia) are keen to make amends for the World Cup
defeat so we expect a fantastic quality team."
Buckley dismissed suggestions that the match might pose a
security threat following past incidents involving Serbian fans
brawling with rival Croatian and Bosnian fans at the Australian
Open tennis in recent years.
"I'm confident that any fan that comes to the match will be
there and participate in the right spirit," he said.
Australia, ranked 20th in the world, failed to make it
beyond the group stage in South Africa but have enjoyed some
good performances under new German coach Holger Osieck.
The Socceroos reached the final of the Asian Cup in Doha and
snatched a 2-1 away win over a second-string Germany side in
March to gain a small measure of revenge after being thrashed
4-0 at the World Cup.
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