Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay has been added to Australia’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan after Terry Antonis was ruled out through injury.
Antonis missed PAOK’s 3-0 win over Kalloni on Sunday due to a back injury and will not travel to Australia to link up with Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad this week.
Instead McKay, who has made 58 appearances for Australia, has been called up as a replacement for his fellow midfielder.
“Terry Antonis picked up a minor back injury in training that kept him out of his club game on the weekend so it’s best he stays in Greece to get the injury right,” Postecoglou said in a statement.
“It’s a shame for Terry as he has been playing well but the door opens for Matt McKay and he will come in and perform to the same high level we are accustomed from Matt… we don’t lose anything by having Matt come into the team for Terry.”
McKay is the second A-League player to earn a late call-up from Postecoglou for this squad, with central defender Alex Wilkinson having been added to cover the injured Matthew Spiranovic last week.
Australia will host Tajikistan in Adelaide on Thursday and Jordan in Sydney on March 29 in their final two games in the Asian Football Confederation’s second round of qualifying for Russia 2018.
The Socceroos (15 points) lead Jordan (13) and Kyrgyzstan (11) in Group B and need to finish top of the standings to be certain of advancing to the third round.
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