Tim Cahill played a huge part in Australia’s Asian Cup win in 2015. Picture: AAP.
Tim Cahill played a huge part in Australia’s Asian Cup win in 2015. Picture: AAP.

Fans get golden chance to farewell Timmy

TIM Cahill will have the best view in the house at his much-anticipated farewell, with news Australia's greatest Socceroo is poised to play in his tribute match against Lebanon at ANZ Stadium.

News Corp Australia understands Football Federation Australia is close to securing an agreement with Cahill's management that would see the newly retired record goal-scorer pull on the green and gold one final time on November 20.

The match, which will fall three days after the Socceroos host South Korea at Suncorp Stadium, will offer an opportunity for the sporting public to celebrate the 38-year-old's 107 caps, 50 goals and four World Cups spanning 14 illustrious years.

As well as his on-field exploits, he'll be remembered as fondly for his presence off it, as a dressing-room mentor and enduring symbol of the golden generation.

For Cahill, who's reportedly in advanced talks to join Indian club Jamshedpur FC, the occasion is set to double as a chance to get the boots back out and sink one for the road at the scene of some of his finest work.

ANZ Stadium hosted many a moment that helped define the striker as a big-game player - and his now-fabled head as a Socceroos saviour.

Most recently, last October, he defied age and reason to score twice over a marathon 120-minute shift against Syria to rescue Australia's World Cup campaign.

In fitting symmetry, he also scored against Lebanon in the only other fixture between the sides, a 3-0 win in 2012 in Beirut that marked Mark Schwarzer's 100th appearance.

While Cahill ran out a decent chunk of that game, he's likely to play a much smaller role off the bench in this encounter, which is being treated as serious preparation less than two months out from January's Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.


Tim Cahill will sign off from Socceroos duty on November 20.
Tim Cahill will sign off from Socceroos duty on November 20.

The friendly, to be announced by FFA on Thursday, will be the last chance for Graham Arnold to observe his squad in action before they reunite at a pre-tournament camp from Christmas.

Lebanon sit 79th in the world, making them the ninth-best team in Asia on paper, compared to world No.43 Australia who sit behind only 32nd-ranked Iran.

They are still largely viewed as Asian Cup outsiders, having never previously qualified - though they did host the tournament in 2000.

Arnold is also due to announce a large extended squad for his first training camp in Turkey next month ahead of a yet-to-be-confirmed October friendly, likely in the Middle East.

Included will be the core of Bert van Marwijk's World Cup group along with some fresh faces as the new coach casts the net wide at the start of a new cycle.

It's understood Arnold's former Central Coast Mariners charge Mitchell Duke will be among the names.

The 27-year-old winger has been playing regularly at Japanese top-flight outfit Shimizu S-Pulse and will get the chance to re-start his international career, having earned four caps and scored two goals under Holger Osieck but since been overlooked under Ange Postecoglou.

Also believed to be in is Scotland-based left-back Ben Garuccio and fellow uncapped former Adelaide United player Awer Mabil, who impressed Arnold by scoring for Danish side Midtjylland last weekend.

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