Last night was huge for Australian football, with the Socceroos beating Iraq 1-0 in Sydney thanks to a Josh Kennedy goal. The win secures them a place in the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil.
Making a World Cup is a treat for any nation’s football fans as they come together to watch matches, often huge social gatherings and, depending on where the tournament is hosted, at all sorts of weird and wonderful hours of the day and night.
So how will it look in Australia? Here’s what you need to know about the game schedule for the tournament.
The really short version: most of the games will be played in the early morning, Australian time.
Key matches kick off at a reasonably civilised 5am or 6am – a schedule that will allow you to get to work at a reasonable hour if games don’t run to extra time or penalties.
Now for the detailed breakdown. All the times below are for Australia’s east coast. Daylight savings differences don’t come in to play, as it will be winter in Brazil and the Australian eastern states.
Brazil is 13 hours behind Australia’s east coast and the matches are scheduled to hit the European peak-hour viewing market. That means games will be televised early in the Australian mornings.
The next step in the process is the finals draw, which will be held on December 6th, or the morning of December 7th on Australia’s east coast. That’s when we’ll learn who the Socceroos will face in their group matches – and we’ll be hoping to avoid a “group of death” in which Australia would have to play two titan nations to progress to the next round.
The first game is on the morning of Friday, June 13, 2014. Kick-off will be 6am in Australia.
Group matches run from Saturday June 14th to Friday June 27th.
Kick-off for those matches varies – and when Australia plays will be dependent on the draw. They will start at 2am, 5am, 8am and 11am in Australia.
If Australia makes it out of the group stage, it’s into the nerve-wracking knockout stages, starting with the Round of 16. Kick-off for those eight matches will be at 2am and 6am between Sunday June 29th and Wednesday July 2nd.
The quarter finals are on Sunday July 5th and Monday July 6th, with kick-off at 6am. The semi-finals are Wednesday and Thursday the 8th and 9th of July, starting at 6am.
The third-place playoff (if anyone cares) will be the morning of Sunday July 13th at 6am.
And the World Cup Final will show in Australia at 5am on Monday, July 14th.
Tickets for the World Cup matches go on sale in August. Prices are unclear at this point. Flights to Rio can be bought for under $2000 at the moment, but tickets will be far steeper for the event.
Also, visitors to Rio have been known to be hit by price shock.
The match times could be worse for Australia but it’s likely to lead to some bleary-eyed workers who’ve been up for hours watching games and eating chips since 2am in some cases during the period of the competition.
The official match schedule is here (.PDF).
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