NEWS › Adelaide to host first World Cup qualifier in 11 years

Adelaide to host first World Cup qualifier in 11 years

Dec 7, 2015; 5:05 AM 666

Adelaide will host its first World Cup qualifier in 11 years when Australia play Tajikistan there in March, officials said on Monday.

The match at the Adelaide Oval, venue for last month's first-ever day-night cricket Test, will also be the Socceroos' first appearance in the city since a friendly in 2011.

The Asian champions also played Bangladesh in Perth in September as Football Federation Australia attempts to widen the sport's appeal beyond its heartlands of Sydney and Melbourne.

"The Socceroos represent all Australians so it is important we give fans from all over the country the opportunity to watch the team play these World Cup qualifiers," coach Ange Postecoglou said in a statement.

Australia, who won the Asian Cup in January, lead their five-team 2018 World Cup qualifying group by two points from Jordan, with Tajikistan out of contention in second-last place.

Despite the Socceroos' successes, football lags cricket, Australian rules football, rugby league and rugby union for popularity in Australia.