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Jedinak back for play-off against Syria

Groin problem had kept the Australian captain out of key qualifiers

Gulf News

Sydney: Australia received a boost on Tuesday with captain Mile Jedinak named in an extended squad for their crunch World Cup play-off against Syria after he missed their final qualifiers through injury.

A groin problem forced the Aston Villa star out of the Socceroos’ clashes against Japan and Thailand, in which they failed to qualify automatically for Russia, missing out to Saudi Arabia on goal-difference.

They now face an arduous play-off against the Syrians, with the first leg on October 5 in Malaysia before the return clash in Sydney five days later.

Twenty-two of the 23 players in the squad for Japan-Thailand were included among the 30 named Tuesday, with European-based Jedinak, Aziz Behich, Mark Birighitti, Craig Goodwin, James Jeggo and Nikita Rukavytsya also called up.