Lucas Neill and Sasa Ognenovski back to help Australia’s bid to book a ticket to Brazil.
Skipper Lucas Neill and Sasa Ognenovski return to boost Australia’s defence for next month’s three decisive Asian World Cup qualifiers against Japan, Jordan and Iraq.
The experienced defenders were named in a 26-man squad by coach Holger Osieck as Australia bid for a top two place in Group B and automatic qualification for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Neill, a veteran of 89 internationals, missed the Socceroos’ 2-2 home draw with Oman in March through suspension, which left them outside the automatic qualifying positions in third, while Qatar-based Ognenovski was not chosen.
Osieck also recalled Japan-based Nagoya Grampus striker Josh Kennedy and named uncapped young Germany-based goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak in his squad.
Also included were New York Red Bulls attacker Tim Cahill, playmaker Mark Bresciano, Aston Villa midfielder Brett Holman, veteran Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Dinamo Moscow defender Luke Wilkshire.
Osieck also named seven domestic A-League players in Ivan Franjic, Eugene Galekovic, Mark Milligan, Jade North, Archie Thompson, Michael Thwaite and Dario Vidosick.
Australia face group leaders Japan in Saitama on June 4 and round off their qualifiers against Jordan in Melbourne on June 11 and Iraq in Sydney on June 18.
Australia – Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa/QAT), Alex Brosque (Al-Ain/UAE), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls/USA), Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons/KOR), Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar/AUS), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United/AUS), James Holland (FA Austria Vienna/AUT), Brett Holman (Aston Villa/ENG), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace/ENG), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus/JPN), Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf/GER), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng/CHN), Matt McKay (Changchun Yatai/CHN), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory/AUS), Lucas Neill (uncontracted), Jade North (Brisbane Roar/AUS), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht/NED), Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal/QAT), Tom Rogic (Celtic/SCO), Mark Schwarzer (Fulham/ENG), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory/AUS), Michael Thwaite (Perth Glory/AUS), Dario Vidosic (Adelaide United/AUS), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow/RUS), Michael Zullo (FC Utrecht/NED).