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Australia's national team faces a huge challenge to progress at next year's FIFA showcase after being thrust into a group with two European heavyweights

The Socceroos have drawn Chile, the Netherlands and holders Spain in an undeniably difficult 2014 FIFA World Cup group.

Ange Postecoglou's team will begin their campaign in Brazil next year with a match against Chile at the Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba on June 13.

The second game is against the Netherlands at Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre five days later, before a daunting, high-profile clash with Spain, the reigning world and European champions, at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba on June 23.

If Australia progress from the group, they will face the first or second-placed team from Group A, containing hosts Brazil, Croatia, Mexico and Cameron.

The outcome of Friday's draw in Bahia is sure to revive painful memories of the Socceroos' 4-0 defeat to Germany at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Consecutive 6-0 defeats to Brazil and France, which prompted the sacking of coach Holger Osieck, are also fresh in the minds of Australian football supporters, meaning the priority for his successor, Postecoglou, may well be to forge a team capable of avoiding embarrassment on the big stage next year, while harbouring only the slimmest hopes of progressing to the knockout stages.

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