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Australia to fine-tune Asian Cup in Singapore

sports Updated: Apr 17, 2007 17:04 IST

AFP
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Australia will use Singapore as its base camp in the lead-up to the Asian Cup, playing the city-state in its last warm-up game before the finals.

With blockbuster games scheduled in Australia against Uruguay and Argentina in June, the Socceroos now have three matches to build up to Asia's premier football event.

The team will next assemble in Sydney ahead of their match against Uruguay on June 2, and then head to Melbourne to take on Argentina on June 6.

The Socceroos then take a two-week break before jetting to Singapore on June 21 and playing Singapore at the National Stadium on June 30.

"We want to give the team the best possible opportunity to achieve success at the Asian Cup and these matches will give Australia a great platform to perform at the tournament," said Football Federation of Australia chief Ben Buckley.

"We have two massive home matches which will provide a tough test for the team and then the camp and match in Singapore will allow the team to fine-tune and acclimatise ahead of our first Asian Cup match."

Singapore missed out on qualifying for the Asian Cup after finishing third in a tough group behind Iraq and China.

"The camp and match in Singapore will give us a good indication of what to expect at the Asian Cup," added coach Graham Arnold.

"Acclimatisation will be a key to success at the tournament, so training and playing in Singapore will get us in good shape for the conditions that we will face.

"All three matches are vital. The games in Australia will be the players last chance to push for selection for the Asian Cup and the tough opponents will give us the hard workout we need."

Australia gets its Asian Cup campaign underway against Oman in Bangkok on July 8.

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