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Star player:
Tim Cahill

Previous appearances:
1974 (first round), 2006 (second round).

How they qualified
China (h)             0-1
Uzbekistan (a)      1-0
Qatar (h)             4-0
Bahrain (a)           1-0
Japan (a)             0-0
Uzbekistan (h)      2-0
Qatar (a)             0-0
Bahrain (h)           2-0
Japan (h)             2-1

Impressive under Guus Hiddink at the 2006 finals, they will believe they have a good chance to at least match their run to the last 16 in South Africa but the group stage draw will have caused some consternation.

Strange but true
In the entire 1988 World Cup campaign, from first qualifier to the final, only two teams didn’t lose a match. Champions France was one and Australia, under Terry Venables, was the other. Australia was knocked out in a playoff against Iran on the away goals rule after an unbeaten waltz through Oceania.

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