Australia coach Arnold recalls Taggart, Hrustic for Lebanon qualifiers

March 14, 2024 2:28 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Coach Graham Arnold has recalled forward Adam Taggart in his Australia squad for World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon on the strength of his A-League form while also welcoming midfielder Ajdin Hrustic back to the fold.

They were named in a 25-man squad for the Asian Group I qualifiers in Sydney on March 21 and in Canberra five days later.

The Canberra match was designated Lebanon’s “home” fixture after the Asian Football Confederation requested it be played on neutral territory due to the war in Gaza.

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Taggart was overlooked in Arnold’s World Cup squad in 2022 and the recent Asian Cup in Qatar but the 30-year-old has forced his way back with 14 goals in 18 matches for Perth Glory in the current term.

Hrustic returns after a successful loan spell at Dutch club Heracles Almelo after struggling for game-time at Verona in the Italian top flight.

Long-serving defender Aziz Behich, a team mate of Cristiano Ronaldo at Saudi club Al-Nassr, has been ruled out with a calf injury, joining Martin Boyle (concussion), Aiden O’Neill (ankle) and Marco Tilio (hamstring) on the sidelines.