Ismael Mohamed from Werribee City selected for second round of Somalia’s World Cup qualifiers

Despite being a true blue Aussie, Mohamed feels a deep bond to Somalia due to his father and even visited the country back in 2016. His stellar performances in Australia caught the eye of Somali national team scouts.

“There’s this other Aussie bloke who’s been killing it and making a name for Australia,” Mohamed shared. “Now, the Somali team’s got their eyes on Australia. They’re looking to beef up the squad with some quality players.”

Playing internationally comes with a whole different set of challenges compared to playing down under. Mohamed highlighted issues like jet lag, travel, and illness. He recalled his experiences playing in two international matches and mentioned the physical and fast-paced nature of the game. “It was a real challenge,” he admitted. “The speed of the game was totally different, and the opposition were a lot tougher. We were up against top players from their nations. They were more physical and speedy. The coach gave me the nod in both matches.”

Mohamed views the chance to help Somalia qualify for their first World Cup as a huge milestone and hopes the entire nation will rally behind the team.

At Werribee City, Mohamed is having a blast in his debut season. Previously, he played for Banyule City and Williamstown and had nothing but praise for his new club’s inclusive atmosphere and top-notch management. “They’ve been so warm and welcoming,” he remarked. “They’ve done a fantastic job running things. The way they’ve treated me has been exceptional. We’ve got a new coaching crew, and they’ve been great. The new coach is a solid pick.”

CAF World Cup 2026 qualifying kicks off again next month, with Matchdays 3 and 4 starting on June 5. In Group F, where Mohamed’s Somali side is placed, Côte d’Ivoire is leading the pack and looking to maintain their winning streak. While Somalia is yet to clinch a victory, they remain optimistic about turning things around in the upcoming games.

Group G sees Algeria and Botswana at the top with six points each. With no points on the board so far, Somalia faces tough challenges against Mozambique and Botswana in the upcoming matches. The qualifiers promise fierce competition and thrilling games as teams battle it out for a slot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup. 

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