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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Socceroos to face Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Alexis Sanchez after historic Copa America draw

The Socceroos have been drawn in the South Zone for next year’s Copa America, meaning they will face the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani – although they do at least avoid Neymar and co from Brazil.

Graham Arnold’s men will be based in Argentina as a result of the Zone they were drawn in, with the other Zone hosted in Colombia between June 12 and July 12 in 2020.
Australia are competing as one of two guest nations, along with 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar, and will be joined in the South Zone by Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay.
With six countries in each group, every team will play five group stage matches, with the four top nations from the North Zone and South Zone progressing to the quarter-finals.
Australia were invited for the first time with the Copa America previously offering places to countries from North America and Asia since 1993.
However, no guest nation has ever won the Copa, with Mexico coming the closest on two occasions, having reached the final in 1993 and 2001.
Qatar took part in 2019’s edition of the tournament as well, but failed to progress further than the group stage, despite an impressive 2-2 draw with Paraguay in the opening game.
The tournament will provide the perfect opportunity for the Socceroos to test themselves against some of the highest-ranked teams in the world, ahead of the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup.
Socceroos’ provisional Copa America fixtures (local time):
13 June 2020: Australia vs Uruguay
17 June 2020: Paraguay vs Australia
22 June 2020: Australia vs Bolivia
26 June 2020: Argentina vs Australia
30 June 2020: Australia vs Chile