Australia line up New Zealand friendly
The City of Churches has not hosted a Socceroos match since the 2004 OFC Nations Cup, with the most recent match at Hindmarsh Stadium on 6 June 2004 when Australia drew 2-2 with the Solomon Islands. The trans-Tasman rivalry in football has built up significantly over recent years, culminating in Australia's 2-1 win over the All Whites in May last year ahead of the World Cup.
New Zealand went on to be the only side unbeaten in the FIFA World Cup™, drawing their three group matches. Football Federation Australia chief executive Ben Buckley believes the upcoming fixture will be a special event on the football calendar.
"Our traditional rivalry with the All Whites and the rich history of the venue will make the Qantas Socceroos match at Adelaide Oval a special occasion for the South Australian sporting community," he said. "It's been some time since the national team has been able to play in Adelaide and we acknowledge the South Australian government for their support it making this event possible."
Socceroos coach Holger Osieck sees the match as a crucial guide in the build-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Asian qualifiers. "I had the opportunity to see the All Whites play in South Africa last year and, make no mistake, they had a successful campaign having gone through their group phase undefeated against the likes of the defending world champions, Italy," Osieck said.
"For us, this game is crucial in the lead-up to the qualifiers. This is an ideal opportunity for the players to show their ability to me and the Australian fans and to prove that they should be included in our World Cup campaign. Our last match against Germany (a 2-1 friendly win in Dortmund on 29 March) was very good and I will be looking for another quality performance and positive result against New Zealand."