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Experienced Socceroos squad named for Iraq, U.A.E. World Cup qualifiers

Head coach Ange Postecoglou sits down with ESPN FC's Jason Dasey to discuss the future of Australia's national football team.
Apostolos Giannou & Tim Cahill
Apostolos Giannou, left, and Tim Cahill, right, have both been included in Ange Postecoglou's latest Australia squad.

Tim Cahill is the only Australian-based player to feature in the Socceroos squad for two World Cup qualifiers next month.

The newly-signed Melbourne City striker leads an experienced group of 23 players named by coach Ange Postecoglou on Wednesday to take on Iraq in Perth on Sept. 1 and the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi five days later.

Football Federation Australia called the squad a "full strength" line-up, despite the absence locally-based Asian Cup winners Alex Wilkinson, James Troisi and...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ukraine beat Albania while Romania and Switzerland also win friendlies

A battle between two European Championship rivals saw Ukraine claim a 3-1 victory over surprise qualifiers Albania in Bergamo, Italy, on Friday.

After conceding an early opener, Albania levelled quickly through Armando Sadiku but gave away another goal at the start of the second half, and Ukraine, also going to Euro 2016, sealed the win with two minutes to go.

The loud Albania fans, who filled half of the stadium in Bergamo, Italy, where their team were training before going to France, were quieted...

 By Paul Murphy

Thailand use King's Cup to warm up for World Cup QF and Suzuki Cup

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and David Mitchell look ahead to Thailand's upcoming AFC World Cup qualifying campaign.

Thailand have a valuable opportunity to prepare for the resumption of their World Cup qualifying campaign and their defence of the AFF Suzuki Cup when they host the King's Cup this weekend.

The home side will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Football Association of Thailand and will wear a special commemorative kit to mark the occasion.

The War Elephants kick off their bid to win the four-team contest with a semifinal against Syria on Friday. If successful, they will face either the United...

Emirati officer in Lionel Messi passport case wins appeal against prison term

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- An Emirati police officer has won an appeal against his prison sentence for posting an online video that showed him holding Barcelona star Lionel Messi's passport.

Abu Dhabi's state-run The National newspaper reported on Wednesday that Dubai's Court of Appeal had overturned the officer's one-month prison term.

The paper quoted the officer's lawyer, Abdul Moniem bin Suwaidan, as saying on Tuesday that the accused had the permission of Messi's business manager to...

 By John Duerden

Top five matchups in 2018 AFC World Cup final round qualification

Now that the draw for the 2018 AFC World Cup final qualifying round is out, it is time to take a closer look into which of the region's top players will be up against one another as the games play out.

There will be some fascinating matchups over the coming months, as the best teams on the continent fight it out over the course of 10 games.

Only four Asian nations will be guaranteed World Cup spots, with another two facing more playoffs for a chance to make it to Russia 2018.

The matches begin in...