10 October 2019
Australia and Nepal will face-off at the GIO Stadium in the second qualifying round for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
After a 3-0 demolition of Kuwait on the road in the first qualifying round, the Socceroos will look to kick-off their home campaign with the same intensity. The hosts have endured mixed fortunes this calendar year (W3, D1, L3), with all of those defeats ending with the identical 1-0 scoreline against their favor. Meanwhile, each of their three victories in the same sequence has seen Graham Arnold’s men netting precisely three goals per match, while two witnessed them keep a clean sheet. Arnold will be desperate to see his team improve on their recent attacking displays, as his players have struggled to find the back of the net in three successive outings before their aforementioned win over Kuwait.
Sitting 117 places below Australia (44th) in FIFA ranking, Nepal (161st) are big underdogs to make something out of their first-ever head-to-head meeting with the Socceroos. The Gorkhalis have started their Group B journey with a whimper rather than a bang, suffering a humiliating 7-0 defeat to Kuwait away from home. However, they’ve managed to bounce back by securing a comfortable 2-0 away triumph over Taiwan last time out. It’s been a tough year for Nepal so far, as they’ve pulled off just one triumph in six matches since the turn of 2019 (W1, D2, L3). Only one of those fixtures has produced over 2.5 goals while one witnessed both teams score too.
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