Australia are clinging to hope they can still reach the knockout rounds of the FIFA World Cup™ after clawing out a 1-1 draw with Group D leaders Ghana with just 10 men on Saturday. Ghana lead the hotly-contested group with four points. Germany and Serbia each sit on three with Australia trailing with one point.
Skipper Lucas Neill still believes the Socceroos can repeat their 2006 FIFA World Cup performance and reach the last 16 if they can beat Serbia in Nelspruit on Wednesday and hope the Germany-Ghana match doesn't end in a draw at Soccer City on the same night.
"There is unbelievable belief within the team," Neill said. "We are obviously hurt and we've given ourselves a mountain to climb in the first game, but we're still here and the nation shouldn't give up on us because we haven't given up."
Neill said Australia still have two ways of fighting their way out of the group, despite finishing a second match at the tournament a player down after red cards. "We want Germany to go out and perform the way they did against us, create opportunities, be clinical and score lots of goals and then hopefully that will bring Ghana's goal difference into the minuses," he said.
"And we need to get goals against Serbia and create chances to finish them off. If Germany win 3-0 and we win 2-0 or 3-0 and if Ghana win just 1-0 and we just win, that's two ways of fighting our way out of the group."
There is unbelievable belief within the team.
Australia will have to climb the mountain without Kewell and experienced central defender Craig Moore, who will both miss the Serbia game. Kewell was red carded for handling on the line of Asamoah Gyan's fierce goal-bound shot - the ball hitting his upper arm - while Moore picked up his second yellow card of the tournament, ruling him out of the next game.
"I certainly didn't leave anything out there, I gave everything I had and I'm happy with it [despite the second yellow card]," Moore said. "We have one game left and in football we've seen a lot of things happen. It's all possible.
"We've been criticised for un-Australian performances and it would be certainly un-Australian to go into that last game giving up, we certainly won't do that."
Tim Cahill, who watched the match from the stands after his red card tackle against Germany, said he will relish his opportunity to play against Serbia. "As a player I've taken it on the chin and got on with it. One thing I've made sure is to show respect to the referee and the fans," the Everton midfielder said. Whether it's right or wrong I've got a another crack at Serbia."