Australia coach Pim Verbeek brushed aside suggestions that the 3-1 friendly defeat to the USA on Saturday would have a detrimental effect on their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ chances. The Dutchman, who was Guus Hiddink's assistant during the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, saw his team fall to a first-half double from Edson Buddle and a late strike by Herculez Gomez.
Tim Cahill scored Australia's solitary goal in the first half as Verbeek's men struggled to deal with the pace of the American's attack, but the coach rejected the idea that his team's confidence will suffer as a result. "I'm not concerned," he said. "They didn't create that many chances in the first half and it was only when we were pushing forward that chances seemed to fall to them.
"That sort of thing is all about organisation and we still have time to work on that. We will find out next week whether my players are ready. I'm not worried about a game like this. I know they are not 100 percent ready because we still have eight days until our first match. If this had been a real World Cup game then we would have approached the game differently."
USA coach Bob Bradley saw his side warm up for their Group C clash against England in Rustenburg next Saturday with a great performance. He reflected: "We did pretty well. The area I would look at the most is some of the poor clearances from our defenders and some of our defending from set-pieces, but it will take time to adjust to the conditions here. Now we have a regular week leading into the game, which involves regeneration of our squad. We're pleased with the lead-up and now this is going to be a great week."
Australia forward Harry Kewell was left out by Verbeek and the coach explained he felt there was no reason to risk him before their first match against Germany. "We still have eight days so I would prefer if he was ready then rather than now," said Verbeek.