After 763 days, the Socceroos are finally set to play on home soil

The Socceroos will return to Australia for the first time in more than two years for their World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia.

The match at Western Sydney Stadium on November 11 will be the Socceroos’ first at home since they faced Nepal in Canberra in October 2019 — a full 763 days between games.

Recent changes to coronavirus regulations in New South Wales have reduced quarantine requirements, allowing teams to travel, train and play.

A crowd of up to 75 per cent capacity — about 25,000 people — will be allowed to attend the game.

“I believe that playing in front of home fans at a beautiful stadium and on a great pitch will help us,” Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said.

“Fans can provide energy to players and teams and, after having been away from Australia for so long, I expect that our players will harness and utilise the support that will be in Western Sydney Stadium on November 11.

“We appreciate and recognise the role that many stakeholders, primarily the NSW government, have played in ensuring that this match could be played in Australia.

“And now I urge the players, together with the fans, to enjoy the moment and feed off one another’s energy as together we strive to take another positive step towards qualification for Qatar.”

The Socceroos have not played on home soil since a qualifier against Nepal in October 2019.(AAP: James Gourley)

Australia has a second World Cup qualifier scheduled for November 16 against China, but the details of that match are still being finalised.

The Socceroos are currently in second place behind Saudi Arabia in Group B of qualifying for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, making the match in Parramatta a crucial one.

“The Socceroos are an iconic Australian team and one that has always enjoyed a very close connection with the Australian public,” Football Australia chief executive James Johnson said.

“Unfortunately, throughout the team’s pursuit of qualification for a fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup, they have had to play 11 of their 12 matches abroad. Despite the challenges which this has presented, the Socceroos have performed exceptionally well.

“It will also be a chance for the Australian public to witness some exciting new national team talent, including players like Ajdin Hrustic, Martin Boyle, and Harry Souttar, who have been making great contributions to the squad throughout 2021.”

The Socceroos’ match will follow the two-game series between the Matildas and Brazil as the first international football matches played in Sydney since the pandemic began.

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