In massive news for Queensland football fans, the Caltex Socceroos will face fellow 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists Korea Republic in Graham Arnold’s first game on Australian soil at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, 17 November.
The international friendly match was announced this morning by Football Federation Australia (FFA), the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.
The game is a re-match of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Final, when Australia triumphed 2-1 in extra time, and is the Socceroos’ first return to Brisbane since that victorious Asian Cup campaign three years ago.
“It is fantastic that the first match that the Caltex Socceroos play on home soil and under new Head Coach Graham Arnold is against the Korea Republic in Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium,” FFA Chief Executive Officer David Gallop said.
“The last time these two teams met in the final of the AFC Asian Cup in 2015 was a spectacular event that will long live in the memory of all who watched it.
“With the next AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) only five months away, matches like this are a crucial component of tournament preparation and all players will be looking to impress Graham.”
Arnold, who represented Australia 56 times as a player, said he’s delighted local fans will get to see the Socceroos in action as they prepare for the AFC Asian Cup 2019.
“To have the opportunity to play a team of the calibre of Korea Republic at home six weeks before the start of the AFC Asian Cup is perfect for our preparations,” said Arnold.
“Speaking to the players, they are all excited about coming back to Australia and playing in front of our home fans.
“Australia has a long football history with Korea Republic, so hopefully we’ll see the sold-out sign go up at Suncorp Stadium for this match.”
Football Queensland (FQ) Chief Executive Officer Richard Griffiths welcomed the big announcement.
“Having the Socceroos play here in Brisbane is fantastic and I’m confident our Queensland football family will come out in numbers to support,” Griffiths said.
This will be the 29th time the two nations have met since their first meeting in 1967. The last time these two nations faced each other was at the AFC Asian Cup 2015 Final in Sydney which the Caltex Socceroos won in dramatic circumstances.
They last met in Brisbane earlier in the group stage of the same tournament when Korea Republic won 1-0 at Suncorp Stadium.
Caltex Socceroos fans can purchase tickets here.
The match will be broadcast live throughout Australia by FOX SPORTS and Network TEN.