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World Cup 2010 team guide: Australia

OVERVIEW
World Cup guide: Australia

World Cup guide - Australia

You would think that Australia would be heading to World Cup on a wave of patriotic fervour given their recent results, team strength and the potential of facing England in the second round. But to many Australian fans the opposite is true; performances in recent games have been poor, the squad is old and lacks depth, and coach Pim Verbeek has got Australia playing a style of football that doesn't measure up to former coach Guus Hiddink.

The players stand behind Verbeek's pragmatic approach, but a poor display against New Zealand in a warm-up match hardly helped foster a positive belief before Australia take on the likes of Germany, Ghana and Serbia in Group D.

Aim: Although faced with a tough group, Australia will be disappointed if they don't replicate their achievements in 2006 of reaching the second round, especially as England could lie in wait.

THREE KEY PLAYERS
Lucas Neill

LUCAS NEILL The former Millwall, Blackburn, West Ham and Everton defender will be desperate to get back to the World Cup stage after he conceded the penalty against 2006 winners Italy that led to Australia's exit. Now at Galatasaray in Turkey he forms part of an experienced Socceroo defence.

Tim Cahill

TIM CAHILL Everton's goalscoring midfielder had trouble appearing for the Socceroos earlier in his career after representing an U-20 Western Samoa team as a 14-year-old, but he will want to pick up where he left off in 2006 - his double against Japan helped book a place in the second round.

Harry Kewell

HARRY KEWELL The injury-prone forward had begun to capture some form at Galatasary this season before a hamstring problem put his World Cup spot in jeopardy. Verbeek considers his talents good enough to take a risk but doubts remain particularly with only two other strikers in the squad.

THE MANAGER
Pim Verbeek

PIM VERBEEK The out-spoken Dutchman has his critics but he has steered the side to their highest ever world ranking of 14. After spells at FC Groningen, Fortuna Sittard and little known Japanese side Omiya Ardija but, he was Hiddink's assistant as South Korea reached the 2002 World Cup semi-finals, before securing third at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup as head coach.

ADOPT THEM BECAUSE...

Australia have been a little down on their sporting luck of late having lost the Ashes and the ICC World Twenty20 final in the last year, so they could do with a bit of support to cheer them up.

HOW THEY QUALIFIED

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Australia's World Cup qualifying highlights

W 3-0 Qatar (H)
D 0-0 China (A)
W 1-0 Iraq (H)
L 1-0 Iraq (A)
W 3-1 Qatar (A)
L 1-0 China (H)
W 1-0 Uzbekistan (A)
W 4-0 Qatar (H)
W 1-0 Bahrain (A)
D 0-0 Indonesia (A)
D 0-0 Japan (A)
W 2-0 Bahrain (H)
W 2-1 Japan (H)
Qualified after topping their Asian qualifying group by five points

WORLD CUP BEST

1974 and 2006: Did not progress beyond the first round in 1974 and four years ago went one better to make the knock-out phase.

Written by Paul Birch



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Group tables

Group A

Group A teams W D L GD PTS
Uruguay 2 1 0 4 7
Mexico 1 1 1 1 4
South Africa 1 1 1 -2 4
France 0 1 2 -3 1

Group B

Group B teams W D L GD PTS
Argentina 3 0 0 6 9
South Korea 1 1 1 -1 4
Greece 1 0 2 -3 3
Nigeria 0 1 2 -2 1

Group C

Group C teams W D L GD PTS
USA 1 2 0 1 5
England 1 2 0 1 5
Slovenia 1 1 1 0 4
Algeria 0 1 2 -2 1

Group D

Group D teams W D L GD PTS
Germany 2 0 1 4 6
Ghana 1 1 1 0 4
Australia 1 1 1 -3 4
Serbia 1 0 2 -1 3

Group E

Group E teams W D L GD PTS
Netherlands 3 0 0 4 9
Japan 2 0 1 2 6
Denmark 1 0 2 -3 3
Cameroon 0 0 3 -3 0

Group F

Group F teams W D L GD PTS
Paraguay 1 2 0 2 5
Slovakia 1 1 1 -1 4
New Zealand 0 3 0 0 3
Italy 0 2 1 -1 2

Group G

Group G teams W D L GD PTS
Brazil 2 1 0 3 7
Portugal 1 2 0 7 5
Ivory Coast 1 1 1 1 4
North Korea 0 0 3 -11 0

Group H

Group H teams W D L GD PTS
Spain 2 0 1 2 6
Chile 2 0 1 1 6
Switzerland 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 0 1 2 -3 1

see also
Country profile: Australia
22 Feb 12 |  Country profiles


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