Socceroos suffer a World Cup hit as Martin Boyle sits out of the tournament two days before the opening game against France… but Ajdin Hrustic WILL be available against the reigning world champions
Australia’s preparations for the World Cup have been hit hard with Martin Boyle missing the tournament with a knee injury.
The Hibernian winger will be replaced by Marco Tillio, who could be in line to make a surprise start against France in the opening game of the World Cup on Tuesday (Wednesday morning AEDT) just a week after being shockingly left out of the World Cup team.
Boyle, one of three Scottish-born players in the Australia squad, injured his knee while playing for Hibernian three weeks ago and faced a race against time to get fit.
Martin Boyle (left) sits out of the World Cup with a knee injury
He managed only light training away from the squad after arriving at camp on Monday, along with other Scotland-based Socceroos players.
“We all feel sorry for Martin and it’s a cruel blow to him on the eve of the FIFA World Cup,” Australia coach Graham Arnold said on Sunday.
You have been an integral part of our journey to Qatar and we thank you for all you have given the Socceroos during this campaign.
We also thank his club, which has done everything possible from his side to try to help. It will be back and we can’t wait to see it in green and gold again next year.’
Marco Tilio has been called up to the squad to replace Boyle
Under FIFA rules, Arnold had until Monday midnight (local time) (at 8am AEDT on Tuesday) to name a replacement for the injured players.
However, the Socceroos manager moved quickly after Boyle failed a fitness test on Saturday and recalled Tilio to replace the 29-year-old.
“Marco has done everything that has been asked of him to be ready for this tournament,” Arnold explained.
Ajdin Hrustic has gotten fit after training alone while recovering from a blow
Socceroos boss Graham Arnold said Hrustic could play France on Wednesday
“He was an important member of our Tokyo 2020 Olympic squad, started the A-League men’s season well and is familiar with the national team setup and we are looking forward to what he can bring to our team for the tournament.’
Tilio joins his Melbourne City FC team-mates Mathew Leckie and Jamie Maclaren in the squad and becomes the eighth A-League player in the 26-man group.
There was better news for Ajdin Hrustic, who moved into form after training away from the group.
Arnold, however, pointed out that the Hellas Verona playmaker would not start against France at the Al Janoub Stadium when the Socceroos begin their World Cup campaign against the reigning champions.
France’s talismanic striker Karim Benzema will miss the World Cup with a thigh injury
“Ajdin is fine,” Arnold said.
‘Ajdin is capable of playing against France. He won’t start against France, but he is capable of coming off the bench and making an impact.
France have been dealt a devastating blow by injury of their own, with Karim Benzema ruled out of the World Cup with a thigh injury sustained during a training session.
Didier Deschamps has opted not to sign the replacement for the talisman striker and Ballon d’Or winner.