Australia's players are keen to quickly redeem themselves after their embarrassing 4-0 demolition by Germany at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
The Socceroos were overrun by the rampant three-time world champions in Durban last Sunday and face a do-or-die showdown with Ghana in Rustenburg on Saturday in Group D. Anything less than three points against the sole African winners so far at the 2010 FIFA World Cup will end their hopes of qualifying for the second round - a feat they managed four years ago before losing to eventual winners Italy to a dubious penalty.
Amid general despondency back home over their limp first performance, the Socceroos want to try and put things right against Ghana with a more positive effort. "Both of our remaining games are now finals for us," veteran central defender Craig Moore said on Tuesday.
"It would be nice if the Ghana match was in a couple of days (rather than a six-day break between games). After a game like the one against Germany you just want to get out there and try to put things right as soon as possible."
Australia's cause for redemption will not be helped by the suspension of star Everton midfielder Tim Cahill, who was given a straight red card for his clattering tackle on German Bastian Schweinsteiger. Further complicating matters is that captain Lucas Neill, midfielder Carl Valeri and Moore are all sitting on yellow cards for the Ghana match, meaning that one more caution will lead to a suspension for the final group match against Serbia in Nelspruit on 23 June.
"Anything we got out of the German game was always going to be a bonus," Neill said. "This is not the way we planned it but the next two games were always going to be the ones we had to win."
Veteran left-back Scott Chipperfield, who was exposed in defence against Germany, said it is time for senior team member Harry Kewell to play and lead the Australian attack against Ghana. "I would like to see Harry back," the Swiss-based Chipperfield said.
"He looks sharp at training, he looks good, but obviously it's different in a game than in training. It would have been nice to see him get 20 or 30 minutes (against Germany) but it's the manager's decision. We need something to spark us. At the moment we're not looking too dangerous going forward."
Australia can take some heart that they have beaten Ghana four times in their five meetings leading into this weekend's showdown.