NELSPRUIT - Australia can be proud of
their World Cup, picking themselves up after a big loss in the
opening match against Germany, coach Pim Verbeek said on
But ultimately that 4-0 loss cost them a place in the second
round and they have only themselves to blame, he said after a
exciting 2-1 victory over Serbia in Nelspruit.
"A great result today, a great performance again but not in
the final 16 ... I am disappointed," he told reporters. "I am
very proud of my players and the unbelievable support of the
Australian supporters filled large swathes of the Mbombela
stadium and most remained well after the final whistle to cheer
Verbeek said the Germany match was possibly the team's only
bad performance of the last 25 games and in the end it left the
side too much to make up.
"Losing 4-0 (against Germany), that was not in the planning.
We can only blame ourselves for this, for giving four goals away
The Socceroos failed to make it through to the knockout
round on goal difference, with Germany and Ghana topping Group
Australia followed up the Germany match, in which top scorer
Tim Cahill was red carded, with a battling 10-man draw with
Ghana and then victory over Serbia.
Wednesday's man-of-the-match Cahill, who scored Australia's
first goal, said the victory was momentous for soccer in his
"The way we played against Ghana and tonight, it was a
wonderful achievement," he said.
The memory of his sending off against Germany had faded and
he now looked forward to a bright future for Australian football.
"I'm over it, mate (the red card), this is one of the
proudest days of my life," he said.
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