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FIFA WORLD CUP: Socceroos discover final steps on path to 2026 World Cup

Jamie Dunkin
The Nightly
The goal was the highlight of Australia's World Cup qualifier win over Lebanon.

The Socceroos have been drawn in Group C, alongside Japan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, China, and Indonesia as they get a step closer to a sixth consecutive World Cup berth.

Australia has drawn Japan and Saudi Arabia for the third consecutive time in World Cup Qualifying, with Graham Arnold’s side off to familiar territory as well with China another side they faced in the final stages of 2022 World Cup qualifying.

The Socceroos are the second-highest placed team in their group, narrowly missing out on being the highest-placed team due to results in the previous stage of qualifying.

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Graham Arnold’s men will play home and away fixtures from September to June next year.

Australia cruised through the second qualifying round with six wins from as many matches, beating Palestine 5-0 in Perth earlier this month to wrap up the phase.

The 2026 tournament will be co-hosted by Canada, the USA and Mexico and expands from 32 teams to 48 for the first time.

Group A: IR Iran, Qatar, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates, Kygryz Republic, DPR Korea

Group B: Korea Republic, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Palestine, Kuwait

Group C: Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, China PR, Indonesia.

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