Posted: 27 October, 2016
Sydney To Host WC18 Qualifier
Matthew Spiranovic of the Socceroos during the 2018 World Cup Qualifier against Japan at Etihad Stadium Photo: Getty Images
Australia will host the United Arab Emirates at Sydney's Allianz Stadium in March in a crucial World Cup qualification match.
The March 28 match follows a tough trip to Iraq a week before, with three Russia 2018 qualifiers after that fixture.
The match is a possible sweetener after Football Federation Australia's decision to gift Melbourne City hosting rights in their FFA Cup final against Sydney FC.
"The Socceroos defeated Jordan in front of 25,000 fans at Allianz Stadium in March this year and I'm sure the people of Sydney will get behind the team," FFA CEO David Gallop said in a statement to News Corp Australia.
"The road to Russia is heating up and this will be a critical match in the campaign.
"When we play at home in Australia, we need to make the most of the opportunity on and off the pitch."
The Socceroos, who sit second behind Asian qualification Group B leaders Saudi Arabia, head to Bangkok next month for a clash against last-placed Thailand.
Following the March home tie against the UAE, Australia will host the Saudis in June before an away match with Japan the following month.
The Socceroos' qualification wraps with a home game against Thailand in early September.