Australians arrive in South America for World Cup playoff
BUENOS AIRES, Nov 8 (AFP): Australia's "Socceroos" arrived here Monday to begin final preparations for Saturday's World Cup 2006 first leg playoff match at Uruguay, hopeful of qualifying for the football showdown for a second time.
Australia's only trip to the World Cup finals was in 1974 when the World Cup was conducted in Germany, as it will be next year.
"The people in Australia will love to go to the World Cup after 30 years," Aussie coach Guus Hiddink said.
Uruguay and Australia will meet in Montevideo Saturday and in Sydney on November 16 with the winner advancing to the final. Both teams will have travel issues but the Aussies, who have trained at a Dutch site, will face them first.
"We are coming in from Europe and there are still guys coming in so the first two days are meant to be to recover a little bit from the tough weekend of the players that had their games," Hiddink said.
"The first two days will be for recovering and from then on the team will focus on the Saturday game."
Hiddink, who guided South Korea's run to the 2004 World Cup semi-finals, is also coach of Dutch first division side PSV. He will not be taking the South American side lightly.
"We know the circumstances. We know the quality of the opponent and we know our quality, what we have done in the recent weeks in the training camp to prepare on the opponent on improving our on game," Hiddink said.
"We're opposing a very though opponent and that's why we have to work well and be organised. If you are unorganised in this game, you are killed."
Marco Bresciano is nursing a twisted ankle and Archie Thompson has a bruised heel but both are expected to be at full speed to face Uruguay.
"We hope to get a good result here, so we have still a lot of chances in the second leg," Hiddink said. "The record of Uruguay at home against big teams is very difficult... It is important for us to score."