23 June 2008

Draw Mechanics

Just glossing over the AFC draw and schedule for Round Four World Cup qualification, it seems Australia will have a fortunate run for the crucial final three matches in June next year, with an easier away game preceding two home games.

Seeded in the first pot (along with South Korea, who consequently we will avoid), Australia's group foes will be determined on 27 June from the following qualifiers:

Pot 2 (one of):
  • Iran
  • Japan (or Saudi Arabia)
Pot 3 (one of):
  • Saudi Arabia (or Japan)
  • Bahrain
Pot 4 (two of):
  • Uzbekistan
  • North Korea
  • UAE
  • Qatar

The schedule for Australia will be:

Match Day 1 - 6 September 2008 - bye
Match Day 2 - 10 September 2008 - away vs first pot 4 team
Match Day 3 - 15 October 2008 - home vs second pot 4 team
Match Day 4 - 19 November 2008 - away vs pot 3 team
Match Day 5 - 11 February 2009 - away vs pot 2 team
Match Day 6 - 28 March 2009 - bye
Match Day 7 - 1 April 2009 - home vs first pot 4 team
Match Day 8 - 6 June 2009 - away vs second pot 4 team
Match Day 9 - 10 June 2009 - home vs pot 3 team
Match Day 10 - 17 June 2009 - home vs pot 2 team

The difficult period with two tough away games on Match Days 4 & 5 at least offers our European stars a lighter travel predicament mid-season. No jetting back to Australia with 36 hours recuperation. The two games are also nicely separated from one another by a period of three months. Even better, our run through June next year minimises travel (the first away match offers the potential of a pre-match camp just a short hop from Europe) and allows home support to become a major influence should the matches still be important for us to win (pretty darn likely).

Such are the virtues of being a top seed, I guess.

1 comment:

michael said...

damn, that's detailed... nice work
cheers
mv