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Kennedy, Wilkshire not included on final Socceroos squad

Reuters

Striker Josh Kennedy, who scored the goal that got Australia to the World Cup finals, was one of four players cut from the squad when Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou named his final group of 23 for the tournament on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old scored the vital goal against Oman in Sydney last June but a back problem means he joins experienced right back Luke Wilkshire, attacking midfielder Tom Rogic and goalkeeper Mark Birighitti in missing out.

Rogic had been expected to be one of the faces of the Socceroos campaign but the 21-year-old has been struggling with a groin problem and has been unable to impose his game on opposition defences in recent outings.

Wilkshire, 32, won his 80th cap in the “farewell” friendly against South Africa last week and had been expected to make the squad because of injury doubts over his rival for the right back spot, Ivan Franjic.

Australia opens its World Cup campaign against Chile in Cuiaba on June 13.