Socceroos name six World Cup debutants


Half a dozen Australian footballers will make their World Cup final debut against France in Qatar.

Socceroos manager Graham Arnold debuted Craig Goodwin, Mitchell Duke, Riley McGree, Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar and Nathaniel Atkinson for their opener against the world champions on Tuesday (AEDT Wednesday).

Only captain Mat Ryan, Mathew Leckie, Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine and Aziz Behich have ever played in football’s flagship tournament.

Arnold opted for Souttar and Rowles in central defense against the holders for the game at Al Janoub Stadium.

Both centre-backs have had limited playing time of late after picking up injuries, while Atkinson has secured the top spot at right-back.

Japanese striker Duke will be the focal point of Australia’s attack with Goodwin and Leckie on the wings.

The match, which kicks off at 06:00 AEDT, is the first of Australia’s group matches at the cup with matches against Tunisia (Saturday, 2100 AEDT) and Denmark (December 1, 0200 AEDT) to follow.

Tunisia and Denmark previously drew scoreless in their first game in Group D.

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