The Socceroos have arrived in Sochi, travelling from their Kazan base camp ahead of Wednesday morning’s clash with Peru.
The final Group C match of the FIFA World Cup™ will kick-off at 12am AEST Wednesday 27 March – live on SBS and Optus Sport – and just one training session remains before kick-off.
ULTIMATE GUIDE: The man credited with Peru's 36-year fairy tale
DAY 35 WRAP: Sightseeing, cards and haircuts on rare day off
Sunday saw the Socceroos put through their paces in one final session in Kazan, following their rare day off on Saturday.
With skipper Mile Jedinak and Tomi Juric fronting up for a pre-training press conference, Bert van Marwijk’s session was then shut off to the media after 15 minutes as preparations continued for the game against Peru.
Temperatures soared up towards the 30-degree mark for the late morning session, where the players competed in a training game and some finishing before returning to base camp and then travelling to Sochi.
The two and a half our flight to Sochi – which is located near the Georgian border – coincided with the kick-off of the State of Origin, with the New South Wales and Queensland players cramming around Mat Ryan’s phone as he live streamed the event.
Sochi – and the Fisht Stadium – is a city the Socceroos are familiar with, having played out a narrow 3-2 loss to 2014 FIFA World Cup™ champions Germany in last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup™.
The players will have one final training session – a familiarisation session at Fisht Stadium – on Monday afternoon before the game against Peru.
A win is a must for Australia, who also need France to defeat Denmark in the simultaneous kick-off to ensure progress through to the Round of 16.
Daniel Arzani, the youngest player at the FIFA World Cup™, gave insight into the mood around camp, with players disappointed with the results from the first two games but excited for the prospects of facing Peru.
“It’s been really special being here with a group of boys who are so close knit,” Arzani told socceroos.com.au
“They’re both disappointing results – I think in the game against France we deserved one point and in the game against Denmark we deserved the three – but that’s the way the cookie crumbles and we look to the next game.
“We’re still a big chance of progressing through the group and we’re very excited.”
Arzani has made headlines for his impact off the bench as a late substitute against both France and Denmark.
The 19-year-old also declared he is happy to help the team in anyway needed, including adding a creative spark off the bench when called upon by van Marwijk.
“To be honest, the most important thing is the team,” the Melbourne City youngster added.
“When I’ve been going on the field, we need a goal or we need to help the team create something and that’s been my role coming on to the field.”