Australia rest Cahill for Thai World Cup qualifier

Sydney (AFP) – Record scorer Tim Cahill has been left out of Australia’s squad for their World Cup qualifier against Thailand as he recovers from “soreness”, the team said on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old veteran, who now plays for Melbourne City after 18 years abroad, also missed last weekend’s A-League win over Adelaide United.

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said Cahill, who has scored a record 48 goals for his country, was being rested rather than dropped for the game on November 15.

“Tim has been left out primarily because we have a 10-day lead-in… and I want to be able to put the squad through a lot of work,” Postecoglou said.

“He has done a lot of travel for club and country and I have decided it is better he remains in Melbourne where he is being managed well to ensure he is back on the park as soon as possible and ready for us down the track,” he added.

Cheering was set to be banned at the qualifier in Bangkok as part of Thailand’s mourning for its late king, who died last month, but local authorities on Wednesday said they would relax strict rules in place. 

“Football fans who attend the match can use cheering equipment, show symbols and cheer,” Football Association of Thailand deputy general secretary Patit Suphaphongs wrote in a Facebook post.

As the final round of qualifying for Russia 2018 hits the halfway stage, Australia lie second in their group, two points behind Saudi Arabia, with Japan third.

“With the group so tight it is important that we put in a good performance to ensure we can continue to be amongst the front runners,” Postecoglou said.

Postecoglou brought in Japan-based striker Nathan Burns, Perth Glory fullback Josh Risdon, Milos Degenek, who plays for German side 1860 Munich, and Brisbane Roar forward Jamie Maclaren. They replace Cahill, Apo Giannou, Chris Ikonomidis and Ryan McGowan, who were all included for last month’s games against Saudi Arabia and Japan. 

Australia – Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo/JPN), Milos Degenek (1860 Munchen/GER), Adam Federici (Bournemouth/ENG), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg/NOR), Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam/NED), Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion/ENG), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa/ENG), James Jeggo (SK Sturm Graz/AUT), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern/SUI), Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Mitchell Langerak (Vfb Stuttgart/GER), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt/GER), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers/ENG), Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane Roar/AUS) Mark Milligan (Baniyas/UAE), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town/ENG), Josh Risdon (Perth Glory/AUS), Tommy Rogic (Celtic/SCO), Mathew Ryan (Valencia/ESP), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning/CHN), Brad Smith (Bournemouth/ENG), Matthew Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown/CHN), Bailey Wright (Preston North End/ENG)

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