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Australia hoping to see off England for second time on home turf

Australia will play England more than 13 years after the two nations last clashed in London. Photo: Wolter Peeters Follow the Age Sport on Twitter
Nanjing Night Net

Can Australia make it two out of two when they take on England at the end of May in a game that will be one of three matches Roy Hodgson’s side will play as a warm-up for the European Championships.

Confirmation of the match that has been talked about for weeks came late on Friday night.

Australia will play England at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, more than 13 years after the two nations clashed at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground in London.

That time, Australia stunned Sven Goran Eriksson’s England by winning 3-1 in a game in which current England skipper Wayne Rooney made his senior debut. At 17 years and 111 days, the Manchester United star became the youngest senior England international in that game.

It will be a busy May and June for the Socceroos: after they return from the UK, they play two games against Greece, in Melbourne and Sydney, the following week.

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop said the fixture represented a wonderful opportunity for all sports fans to get behind the national team.

“The Socceroos is a team that unites the nation and this game will excite not just football fans but sports fans in general,” he said.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is hoping his side can emulate the achievements of Frank Farina’s squad in 2003.

“We have stated that we want to continue progressing as a football nation so we can challenge the best teams in the world and England was strong in qualifying for the Euros,” Postecoglou said. “We will take the game to them so we have a guide as to how we are progressing.

“Australia against England is a massive part of the Australian sporting culture and it will be a fantastic opportunity for our players to experience that rivalry.

“The clash with England, along with the two Greece games in Australia, gives us some great matches as we look ahead to the next round of World Cup qualifying.”

The match will be the seventh clash between the two nations since Australia first played England in 1980 when the Socceroos won one match, drew two and lost three.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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