Australia’s hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup have been hit by an ‘incredible blow” after star forward Tom Rogic made himself unavailable for the do-or-die play-offs.
The Socceroos are priced at 500/1 to win the World Cup but their hopes of even qualifying have suffered a huge setback following the news Rogic will not play.
The 29-year-old has just enjoyed a great season with Celtic, helping them win the Scottish Premiership title, but he is now on the look-out for a new club,
Whether that has anything to do with him pulling out of the crucial play-off clash with the UAE remains to be seen. The player has cited “personal reasons” for his no-show in Qatar and the Socceroos will battle on without him.
Former Socceroo Alex Brosque admits it is a huge setback as the Aussies definitely needed his attacking spark to help them through.
"That's an incredible blow," Brosque told AAP. "In every bit of media and discussion surrounding what the Socceroos need to do to win this game, everything centred on Tommy having a good game and providing that attacking threat and quality that we've been missing in that last couple of games without him there."
Brosque says Europa League winner Ajdin Hrustic is now the key for the Socceroos. He just helped Eintracht Frankfurt defeat Rangers on penalties, scoring one himself, and should be full of confidence.
"Hrustic can take that mantle of being the guy to win us a game and create for us,” Brosque added.