Australia made two changes to their squad for their World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan with Asian Cup winners Massimo Luongo and Trent Sainsbury withdrawing due to injury.
In their place, Australia coach Ange Postecoglou selected uncapped pair Daniel De Silva and Tomislav Mrcela for the match in Bishkek on June 16.
De Silva, 18, is an attacking midfielder who is on his way from Perth Glory to Roma, while Mrcela, 24, is a central defender with Croatian club NK Lokomotiva – with both players hailing from Western Australia.
Luongo (ankle) and Sainsbury (hamstring) both started every match in Australia’s successful Asian Cup campaign earlier this year.
“It is a shame to lose Massimo and Trent but it gives an opportunity for two young players who we have been watching for a while in Tomislav and Daniel,” Postecoglou said in a statement.
“Daniel is a prodigious talent who has been progressing well and after watching him play for the Young Socceroos against the likes of Brazil and Mexico he has earned a chance with the Socceroos.
“Tomislav has put together two strong seasons in Croatia and he is a big strong central defender we think can add something to the squad.”
De Silva played 18 games for the Glory in his final A-League season, scoring three goals, while Mrcela appeared 29 times for Lokomotiva in Croatia’s first division, as they finished fourth.
Australia will start their Russia 2018 qualifying campaign away to Kyrgyzstan.
Postecoglou’s side will also face Jordan, Tajikistan and Bangladesh in Group B of the Asian Football Confederation’s second round of qualifying.
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