No blame on Schwarzer for loss: Verbeek

Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has refused to put the blame on goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer for Australia’s 1-0 loss to Iraq overnight in Dubai (UAE).

Dubai: Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has refused to put the blame on goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer for Australia-s 1-0 loss to Iraq overnight in Dubai (UAE).

Emad Mohammed-s cross to the back post, turned into Schwarzer-s worst nightmare, as the ball from wide on the left and 35 metres out from goal, sailed over his head and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Given that six days earlier, he was the hero in the 1-0 win in Brisbane, Verbeek knows the value of Schwarzer to this team and was not about to let rip in to his player.

“For 94 minutes he did very well and for two seconds he was out of position,” Verbeek said after the game. “Mark has saved us many times for many years, so if the player was to try and do it 99 times everywhere but the goal. Things like that happen and I don-t think anyone, especially for him.

“It was unlucky for Mark and I don-t blame him for our side loss.”

The Dutchmen thought his side was worthy of a point from the game, as they dominated facts of play.

“I think we were completely in control; we were waiting for the right moment to bring in some attacking players for when the game opened up,” he said. “Iraq had to win this game and that was the plan, but I had to do that earlier than expected.

“We played defensively in our organisation in the first half and we did ok; nothing to complain about. they had only 1 or 2 chances.

“The Second half we did everything we could. We were attacking; we created chances.

“I think the big chance that Brett Holman had; it should have made it even. If you don-t score with that kind of chance, then you have to fight and that-s what we did. I cannot say anything about the mentality of the players; we just didn-t win.”

While acknowledging the team has made it tougher on themselves to qualify, Verbeek is still confident of qualifying for the next phase.

“We still have seven points, we knew we need three points out of the last three games and now we have one game lost. So that now means we have to win one of the last two.

“It could have been easier if we had won this game and we could relax for the last two games. But we have to be prepared for the next game, which will also be a tough game as well."