Reds duo picked for Olympic qualifiers

Mark Birighitti and Daniel Mullen have been included in the Qantas Under 23s squad for the upcoming AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 Olympics.

Reds goalkeeper Mark Birighitti and defender Daniel Mullen have been included in the Qantas Under 23s squad for the upcoming AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games.

Qantas Australian Under 23s Head Coach and former Reds boss Aurelio Vidmar named Birighitti and Mullen in 19-player squad for the third Round matches against Iraq and Uzbekistan.

The Qantas Australian Under 23s will play Iraq in their next AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games match on Tuesday 22 November (Al Arabi Stadium, Doha, Qatar) and then Uzbekistan five days later at Parramatta Stadium in NSW.

Mullen flew out to join the squad following the Reds- win over Gold Coast United last Friday, while Birighitti will fly straight into camp from Holland, where he was trialling with Eredivisie club Nijmegen Eendracht Combinatie.

Heading into these two matches, Vidmar knows their importance in Australia-s qualification process.

“After drawing our opening match against the UAE we need to get a good result from these two matches to give us the best possible chance of qualifying for the Olympics,” Vidmar said.

“With injuries to a number of players we have used in the previous matches, we-ve selected a few new faces following our recent training camp in Sydney.

“It will be up to these players to take their opportunity and step up to the challenge ahead.

“We will have a short camp together in Qatar before the Iraq match to work on things and I-m confident that the boys are up to it.”

The teams in each group of the third round of qualifying play in a home-and-away format from 21 September 2011, to 14 March 14, 2012, with the winner of each group directly qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games Football competition.

The three second-placed teams from the third round will clash in a playoff at a centralised venue from March 25 to 29, 2012, and the winners of this group will meet the representatives of CAF (Africa) for a berth in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games match between the Qantas Australian Under 23s and Uzbekistan will also be broadcast live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.

Qantas Australian U-23s Squad List AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games - Round 3 V Iraq and Uzbekistan - November 2011 Aziz Behich (Melbourne Heart), Mark Birighitti (gk) (Adelaide United), Oliver Bozanic (Central Coast Mariners), James Brown (Gold Coast United), Kofi Danning (Brisbane Roar), Mate Dugandzic (Melbourne Heart), Matthew Foschini (Melbourne Victory), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Jason Hoffman (Melbourne Heart), Marko Jesic (Newcastle Jets), Matthew Jurman (Brisbane Roar), Brad McDonald (Central Coast Mariners), Dylan McGowan (Gold Coast United), Daniel Mullen (Adelaide United), Mitch Nichols (Brisbane Roar), Dimitrios Petratos (Sydney FC), Sebastian Ryall (Sydney FC), Mathew Ryan (gk) (Central Coast Mariners), Adam Taggart (Perth Glory)