Socceroos lock in Belgium, UAE and Qatar friendlies

Australia will ramp up preparations for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup with a series of international away friendlies in September and October against European and Middle East opposition.

The Socceroos play Belgium in Liege on September 4 before taking on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on October 10 and Qatar on October 14.

Negotiations are ongoing for the Socceroos to play a second match in Europe during the September FIFA international window.

Home fans are also likely to be treated to two matches in Australia in November as the national team finalises it program leading into January’s 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

The three confirmed matches give coach Ange Postecoglou and his squad a good test against World Cup quarter finalists Belgium, as well as meaningful matches against fellow Asian Cup countries Qatar and UAE.

“We have confirmed three opponents and hope to have three more games between now and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, which gives us good preparation for what will be a challenging tournament on Australian soil in January,” Postecoglou said.

“Belgium will give us a good post-World Cup indication of how we are progressing and then we will get some good hit outs against Asian opposition to help us prepare tactically for the Asian Cup.”

Postecoglou said the matches would offer opportunities to continue the development of the Socceroos side following positive performances in Brazil.

“Our performances in Brazil at the World Cup reaffirmed that we are moving in the right direction but it also showed we need to improve if we want to be regarded as one of the leading football nations, which is our ultimate target,” Postecoglou added.

“Our challenge going forward is to continue to improve as individuals and a team and to start converting our performances into results.

“These matches give us an opportunity to take further steps forward and prepare for success at the Asian Cup, which will be a wonderful tournament on Australian soil.”

All three matches will be broadcast LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.

Socceroos confirmed matches

4 September 2014      Belgium v Australia in Liege, Belgium

10 October 2014         UAE v Australia in the UAE

14 October 2014         Qatar v Australia in Qatar