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Soccer: Australia v New Zealand friendly preview

Having been narrowly edged out 1-0 by England at Wembley, Australia will want to get back to winning ways when they face New Zealand at Brentford’s Gtech Community Stadium in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

An Ollie Watkins goal was all that separated the Socceroos and the Three Lions, with Graham Arnold’s side putting up a resolute display against one of the top-ranked teams in the world.

Next up is a clash with the All Whites, with the recently rediscovered New Zealand and Australia Soccer Ashes Trophy on the line at the Premier League venue.

WhatAustralia v New Zealand
WhereGtech Community Stadium, Brentford, London
When04:45 (AEST), Wednesday 18th October 2023
How to watchNetwork 10, 10 Play & Paramount+

Wembley showing holds positives

The Socceroos may have lost out to England at Wembley, but head coach Arnold will have been far from downhearted by the performance of his players.

Australia had more shots, more shot on targets and won more corners than their hosts, but could not find a way past home goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

Johnstone made a decent save to deny Keanu Baccus, Mitchell Duke flashed a volley narrowly wide and Three Lions defender Lewis Dunk was forced to clear off his own goal-line from Ryan Strain.

Late on in the game Connor Metcalfe saw his header strike an upright, so the visitors were not without their chances, although goalscorer Watkins also saw an effort come back off a post after he had rounded Aussie keeper Mathew Ryan.

Yes, the England XI selected were missing a number of regulars, but Australia were still very much in the game right up until the final whistle and could have grabbed a draw with a bit more precision in front of goal.

Team news

Arnold handed debuts to Lewis Miller and Mohamed Toure at Wembley, while midfielder Massimo Luongo returned to the fold after four years out of the picture, with Riley McGree missing due to injury.

St Mirren wing-back Strain caught the eye with a solid defensive display as well as going close at the other end and he will be eager to build on that display against the All Whites.

While Australia were losing at Wembley, New Zealand played out a 1-1 draw with DR Congo in Murcia, Spain, with veteran striker Chris Wood converting a late penalty after seeing two earlier efforts ruled out.

Teenage Reading defender Tyler Bindon made his debut as a substitute and will be hoping to feature on Wednesday, while 34-goal Wood is almost certain to lead the line - with the current Nottingham Forest frontman having also played in England for the likes of Newcastle United, Burnley and Leicester City.

Head coach Darren Bazeley will have been content with his first game in charge and the challenge of taking on the Socceroos will be one that will surely motivate both him and his players.

Previous meetings

Australia and New Zealand have a long history of meetings, having played each other no fewer than 66 times over the years.

The Socceroos have 42 wins to their name, with the All Whites claiming 13 victories, while 11 games have ended in draws.

A friendly double-header just over a year ago started with Australia edging a 1-0 victory at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane thanks to an Awer Mabil strike.

They followed that up with a 2-0 win at Eden Park in Auckland, with Duke and Jason Cummiongs their goalscorers as they extended their winning run against the All Whites to six matches.

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