Australia coach Pim Verbeek struggled to find any positives from his side's 4-0 drubbing at the hands of a totally dominant Germany in their opening FIFA World Cup™ Group D match here Sunday. Verbeek could only look on in horror as the Germans scored through Lukas Podolski (9min), Miroslav Klose (26), Thomas Mueller (67) and Brazil-born striker Cacau (70).
As numerous other goal-scoring chances were squandered by the Germans, key Australian midfielder Tim Cahill was shown a straight red in the 56th minute for a rash challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger to further complicate matters.
"We're very disappointed about the result," said Verbeek. "But you have to be fair, in the first 30-35 minutes they outplayed us, especially in midfield. The way we handled that was definitely not good. And to concede a goal after nine minutes, you know it's going to be a tough game. We wanted to use our pace up front, but we never had the ball. They were better.
"Germany are one of the candidates to win the World Cup and they showed that tonight. In the second half, we were much better but then we had the red card with 30 minutes to go," said the Dutchman.
Verbeek said his team faced a challenging turn-around to prepare for their second Group D game against Ghana, 1-0 victors over Serbia on Sunday, on June 19 in Rustenburg. They round off their pool games against the Serbians five days later in Nelspruit. "The reality is now that in the next two games we have to win, a draw is not enough," he said. "That's what we're going to have to do, that's what we're going to do."
He added: "Our next game is a final. We have to learn from this game. We have six days to recover physically and mentally. We have six days to find out who's the best starting XI to beat Ghana."
Verbeek also did not seek to deflect blame for the crushing defeat, the worst possible way for the Socceroos to kick off their third FIFA World Cup campaign.
"As coach, you're always responsible. I never blame any of my players. I have no problems saying it's my responsibility," he said, also trying to allay fears that his attack would remain toothless. "They are one of the better teams in the world. It's not embarrassing we can't score. We have to score in the next two games, that's for sure."