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Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Saturday, 19 June 2010 19:25 UK

World Cup 2010: Ghana coach optimistic after draw

Harry Kewell

Highlights - Ghana 1-1 Australia

Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac declined to criticise his men for failing to kill off 10-man Australia in their 1-1 draw.

Harry Kewell was sent off for a first-half handball on the line, and although Ghana equalised from the spot, they could not find a winning goal.

But the result leaves the Black Stars needing only one point from their final Group D match to reach the last 16.

"The result is quite good," Rajevac said. "Even if we had won we would have needed a point against Germany."

Australia had taken an early lead through Brett Holman but the 25th minute sending-off of Kewell and Asamoah Gyan's penalty seemed to set things up for Ghana to record their second victory of the tournament.

But Rajevac's young side seemed to run out of ideas and were grateful to goalkeeper Richard Kingston for his late save to deny Australia's Luke Wilkshire from point-blank range.


"It shows that there is no game won in advance at the World Cup," added Rajevac, whose team beat Serbia 1-0 in their opener and are still the only African side to win at the 2010 World Cup.

"All we can regret is having so many chances but not scoring. But that is football."

Rajevac admitted that his team's preparations had not been ideal after injuries to captain John Mensah and Isaac Vorsah forced him to field an inexperienced centre-back pairing of Lee Addy and 19-year-old Jonathan Mensah.

Addy conceded the free-kick from which Australia scored - Kingston parrying Mark Bresciano's shot straight into the path of Holman, who fired into the top corner.

"We shouldn't have given that goal away. It's very difficult to attack a team with a good defense," Rajevac reflected.

"Instead of two defenders, we had to use two young players. We got off to a bad start, conceding a goal. After that, we started to fight."

Ghana, who play Germany on Wednesday, top the group with four points, one more than the Germans and Serbia.

Australia have one point and must beat Serbia to have any chance of progressing to the next phase.

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see also
Highlights - Ghana 1-1 Australia
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Africa's World Cup sides criticised
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Goal was for all of Africa - Gyan
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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