AAP Soccer

Socceroos skipper wants happy Taiwan trip

By AAP Newswire

Socceroos captain Mark Milligan's last visit to Taiwan probably wasn't the greatest overseas adventure of his long career.

Milligan was the Olyroos' captain in 2007 when his team laboured to a 1-0 win in Taipei over a team they'd beaten 11-0 a few days before at home.

For good measure, he also suffered a broken nose from a stray elbow which had to be operated on in Australia.

"They broke it back in to place in the dressing rooms and then flew me back to Oz to get it operated," Milligan told AAP.

"Silly of me. My fault - put my head where it shouldn't be."

Happily for Milligan, the Socceroos' World Cup qualifier against Taiwan on Tuesday is in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

A world away from the hustle and bustle of the Taiwanese capital Taipei, the match will also be played at a unique venue - the Kaohsiung National Stadium.

Built as the main venue for the 2009 World Games, the eco-friendly venue has an open-ended look, designed to resemble a curled-up dragon.

That dragon's 'scales' comprise more than 8000 solar panels, ensuring the stadium runs entirely on its own energy.

The solar energy stored by Kaohsiung's stadium generates enough energy to provide almost 80 per cent of the local area's power requirements when it's fed on to the grid.

While Australia are expected to overwhelm the bottom-placed Group B minnows, Milligan says the under-23s struggles 12 years ago should serve as a warning to avoid complacency.

"We had a good result against them at home and then, over here, we won 1-0. So I know, we say it all the time, but they can be tough places to come," he said.

"We know that we have to be at our best and we have to start well and then we'll get a positive result."

Australia will get their first look at Kaohsiung stadium on Monday with a training session in the afternoon.

Tuesday's qualifier kicks off at 7:40pm.