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FOOTBALL

Moore left out of Australian squad

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MELBOURNE, Australia -- Captain Craig Moore has been left out of the Australia squad for their World Cup playoff with Uruguay because of a hamstring injury.

Moore, who has struggled with injury since joining Newcastle United in July, was absent from the 23-man squad named by coach Guus Hiddink.

Australia play Uruguay in Montevideo on November 12 before hosting the South Americans in Sydney on November 16.

The winner of the playoff advances to the World Cup finals in Germany.

"We have picked a squad that is flexible and will be able to adapt. This will be important across the two legs," said Hiddink.

"We are under no illusions about the task ahead of us. As fifth placed finisher in South America, Uruguay are a powerhouse in world football."

Liverpool midfielder Harry Kewell, who has battled a succession of injuries over the last two years, is included in the squad, which contains just one player from Australia's domestic league, striker Archie Thompson.

Hiddink has yet to announce who would take over the captain's armband for the Uruguay tie, although Middlesbrough striker Mark Viduka led the side in Moore's absence in a recent friendly match against Jamaica.

It is the last time Australia will attempt to qualify for the World Cup through Oceania, as they are joining the Asian Confederation for the 2010 qualifiers.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Ante Covic (Hammarby), Zeljko Kalac (AC Milan), Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough).

Defenders: Brett Emerton (Blackburn), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham), Ljubo Milicevic (Thun), Lucas Neill (Blackburn), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Michael Thwaite (National Bucharest), Tony Vidmar (NAC Breda).

Midfielders: Marco Bresciano (Parma), Tim Cahill (Everton), Ahmad Elrich (Fulham), Vince Grella (Parma), Joel Griffiths (Neuchatel Xamax), Harry Kewell (Liverpool), Josip Skoko (Wigan), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City).

Forwards: John Aloisi (Alaves), Scott Chipperfield (Basel), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven), Archie Thompson (Melbourne), Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough).

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