Socceroos to take the hard road

The Socceroos have failed to automatically qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup after a 2-0 loss to Japan.


Graham Arnold's men will now finish third in their group regardless of the result in the coming game against Saudi Arabia.


Kaoru Mitoma popped up with a brace in the dying minutes to book Japan a direct spot in November's tournament.

"It's obviously disappointing but you know at the 87th minute nil-all and we opened ourselves up, went four up front and gave them too much space and at the end of the day there were the better quality team on the night." Arnold told 10 Sport.


The Socceroos will now move forward to a qualifier against the third place side from the other group most likely to be the UAE.


If they win that then they will move forward to a knockout draw with a South American side. The Socceroos haven't defeated a South American side for more than a decade.


IMAGE: AAP