Mile Jedinak (left) will miss the World Cup playoff with Syria.
Mile Jedinak (left) will miss the World Cup playoff with Syria. Andy Brownbill

Skipper Jedinak to miss World Cup playoff with Syria

SOCCEROOS captain Mile Jedinak has failed in his attempt to get up for the World Cup playoff games with Syria.

Jedinak and Norway-based left-back Alex Gersbach have been ruled out of the two-legged clash with Syria through injury, with Dutch-based Craig Goodwin and Aziz Behich, who plays in Turkey, earning a recall.

Israel-based striker Nikita Rukavytsya is the selection bolter, called into the squad in place of the axed Jamie Maclaren (Darmstadt) as Postecoglou looks to beef up his impact options from the bench.

Rukavutsya, 30, has scored once in 13 Socceroos games and featured at the 2010 World Cup but has never been called up by Postecoglou.

Western Sydney right-back Josh Risdon has also made the final cut, with Korea-based Matt Jurman earning a maiden call-up.

"I am confident that we have a group of players capable of achieving our goal of progressing to the next stage of qualification," coach Ange Postecoglou said.

"As I have mentioned on many occasions, it is important for us to have a large and vocal home crowd for the second match of this series, and I'm sure the boys will appreciate all the support from the local fans."

Jedinak's injury is a huge blow for the Socceroos, with his leadership and presence proving telling during the Postecoglou era.

The 33-year-old attempted to get some games into him after off-season surgery, starting in the September 12 draw with Middelesbrough but he came off at half-time when he felt soreness in the same groin area.

Jedinak played hurt in the 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia last June, before the Socceroos released him from the Confederations Cup in a bid to recover for the new season.

The opening match is on October 5 in Malaysia, with the Socceroos host Syria at ANZ Stadium five days later.

The winner then plays the fourth-place team from CONCACAF, most likely USA or Panama.

News Corp Australia

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