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Jun 15, 2013

Socceroos urge crowd to play part

Socceroos striker Archie Thompson says Australia have learned to never underestimate an opponent and has urged the sell-out ANZ Stadium crowd to play their part in intimidating Iraq in their crucial World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

The Socceroos take on the world's No.89 ranked team, who are at the bottom of the qualifying group and out of contention for a World Cup berth.

A win for Australia on Tuesday would guarantee a spot in next year's showpiece in Brazil.

Making the task easier is the fact Iraq will be fielding an understrength side without captain and prolific striker Younis Mahmoud and key playmaker Nashat Akram.

But Thompson says after Australia left their World Cup hopes hanging in the balance by being held to a 2-2 draw by Oman in March, there is no risk of complacency.

"In the game against Oman everyone was expecting us to win and a bit of complacency came into that game and we were lucky in the end to get a way with a draw," he said.

"So this one we're definitely taking nothing for granted."

A capacity crowd of over 80,000 people are expected to fill the Sydney Olympic Park stadium and Thompson, who's hoping to earn his 50th cap on Tuesday has called on them to make their presence felt.

"We've just heard now that it's almost a sell-out so we're urging everyone to get out there nice and early, even before the warm-up, just to maybe intimidate the Iraqis just a little bit," he said.

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