Kusini Yengi’s hot start to the season for Portsmouth has been rewarded as he earned his first call-up to the Socceroos ahead of their 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Palestine.
The Socceroos face Bangladesh at AAMI Park in Melbourne on November 16 before they play Palestine on November 21 in the neutral venue of Kuwait given the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel.
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Yengi scored four goals in his first four appearances across all competitions for Portsmouth but was sidelined for almost two months with an ankle injury.
His early goalscoring exploits had him close to a Socceroos call-up earlier this season, but Yengi has now got his reward as Arnold named the 24-year-old in his squad.
Joe Gauci and Jamie Maclaren have also earned recalls to the squad after the resumption of the A-League season while Aziz Behich and Brandon Borrello retained their spots.
Arnold hopes the squad will continue the momentum built from the fixtures against England and New Zealand into the upcoming fixtures as they look to show how dominant they can be against their continental rivals.
“We’ve had the opportunity to test ourselves against some of world football’s best in the last six months, and our performances have shown just how effective we can be, learning a lot along the way,” Arnold said.
“It was a chance to grow as a group, providing opportunities to younger players in preparation for the start of the 2026 World Cup qualification cycle.
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