Verbeek: We can still qualify

Pim Verbeek remains convinced Australia can recover from its heaviest ever defeat at the World Cup finals and still qualify for the round of 16.

By Paul Gough in Durban Sportal

Australia coach Pim Verbeek admitted that only two victories from here on would be good enough to secure the Socceroos a second consecutive spot in the last 16 of the World Cup following their 4-0 loss to Germany in their opening group game on Sunday night.

Such is the damage that the defeat has done to the Qantas Socceroos' goal difference that Verbeek believes that not even a win and a draw in their final two group games against Ghana, on Saturday in Rustenberg, and Serbia in their last group match would be sufficient to qualify for the second round.

"We have to score in the next two games, that is clear," Verbeek said.

"We have to win our last two games now (to qualify), draws will not be good enough."

And Australia will somehow have to find the goals to beat Ghana in its next match without its most prolific scorer in recent times Tim Cahill, who will be suspended for that match after collecting a straight red card against Germany.

Verbeek said he had not yet given any thought as to how he will replace Cahill and admitted the Everton star may have been a bit hard done by to receive a straight red card for a tackle that may have only warranted a yellow.

"I haven't seen it yet so I can't say if it was a real red card," Verbeek said after the game when asked for his thoughts on Cahill's sending off.

"But I have seen quite some other tackles in the last few days that were definitely not a red card so probably it was a very tough tackle but I haven't seen it."

"But I have seen a lot of yellow cards today and I don't think it was a hard game but I can't say anything about the referee - that is not my job."

Verbeek, however, remains convinced Australia can recover from its heaviest ever defeat at the World Cup finals and still qualify for the round of 16.

"That is what we have to do and that is what we are going to do," he said.

"The next game (against Ghana) is a different game but we have to win that game and we have to learn from this game and we have six days to recover physically and mentally and then we have to show that we have the right spirit."

Verbeek said his midfield was simply overrun by a Germany side he believes will be one of the leading contenders to win this year's World Cup and believes the Qantas Socceroos won't have it so tough in their remaining games against Ghana and Serbia.

"We all knew Germany was one of the candidates for winning this World Cup and they showed they have a fantastic team," he said.

"Every player they bought in made the team stronger not weaker so I don't think you can compare this game with the next game."