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Thursday, January 10, 2013
Socceroos to play Romania in Spain

The Socceroos will play a friendly against Romania in Spain next month as part of Australia's preparations for their crucial World Cup qualifiers.

In their first international of the year, Australia will take on the 33rd-ranked Romanians on February 6 in the southern city of Marbella in their last hit-out before resuming their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign against Oman in Sydney on March 26.

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck fielded experimental squads recently when Australia beat South Korea in a friendly last November and also during their successful East Asian Cup qualifying campaign in Hong Kong last month.

He says the friendly against Romania is an opportunity to gauge the progress of several players.

"This is a welcome opportunity to check on the performance of some of our players against Romania who are a very good team and will be a very challenging opponent," Osieck said.

"With the recent matches in Korea and Hong Kong we have seen some new players added to the group and as a result the competition for places in our group has increased.

"This match will not be just a friendly, but also a good test for the players ahead of our important qualifier against Oman."

It will be the first time the world No.36 Socceroos face Romania.

Following the Oman clash, the Socceroos are set to play three World Cup qualifiers in June.

They face an away match against Japan on June 4 before hosting Jordan on June 11 in Melbourne and wrapping up their qualifying campaign against Iraq on June 18 in Sydney.

The Socceroos currently sit in second spot on goal difference in Group B of the Asian zone, level on five points with Iraq and Oman but well behind Japan (13 points).




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