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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 2, 2013

Socceroos arrive in Brazil for friendly

Mitchell Duke is used to watching in wonder on television as Brazil's best footballers show their wares.

Now the 22-year-old Central Coast Mariners striker is pinching himself at the dramatic rise that has him in capital city Brasilia with the Socceroos preparing to face next year's World Cup hosts on Saturday (Sunday AEST).

While he was not expected to feature in the friendly international, Duke's chances of some game time have been boosted by the injury-enforced withdrawal of Tim Cahill.

Towering Josh Kennedy is likely to spearhead the Australian attack in Cahill's absence with mercurial veteran Archie Thompson also in the mix.

Duke's position in the pecking order won't stop him from lapping up the experience.

"The players, like Neymar and all of that - you watch on TV in awe of their ability," Duke said.

"It's going to be absolutely unreal, even just being on the sidelines to watch the game.

"I'll soak up the experience anyway. If I get an opportunity (to play), it'll just absolutely be icing on the cake."

Duke was a surprise inclusion in a near full-strength Socceroos squad after impressing coach Holger Osieck with two goals when on debut at the East Asian Cup tournament in South Korea in July.

"It's obviously a huge compliment and I'll take it," Duke said.

"I did really well obviously in the last tournament and to get given an opportunity here ... I'm soaking up the experience against a top-class team like Brazil."

Fresh from his first English Premier League match as skippr of promoted Crystal Palace at the weekend, Mile Jedinak was relishing the challenge posed by world No.9 ranked Brazil, five times World Cup champions.

"Brazil is the biggest name in world football, with probably the richest history, in their own backyard," said Jedinak.

"It's going to be a massive challenge but one I hope, and I think, we can give a good account of ourselves in and hopefully that'll give us confidence going forward."

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