Verbeek bemoans Aussie exit
Socceroos coach disappointed with World Cup exit
By Razwan Mirza. Last Updated: 23/06/10 10:32pm
Verbeek: Mixed feelings
Australia coach Pim Verbeek admitted to having 'mixed feelings' after the Socceroos failed to qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup, despite finishing on four points.
Australia produced a battling 2-1 victory against Serbia in Group D as both teams exited the tournament after Germany defeated Ghana 1-0, which resulted in both sides progressing to the second round.
Everton midfielder Tim Cahill put the Socceroos ahead in the 69th minute and Brett Holman gave the Aussies real hope of producing the impossible and qualifying themselves, but Marko Pantelic's late goal for the Serbs ensured that both teams were eliminated.
"I have mixed feelings now," said Verbeek.
"It was a great result and a great performance but we are not in the final 16.
"That was the plan when we came to South Africa, but it didn't work out that way and I cannot blame any one of the players, who worked very hard last week when everybody thought it was over.
"Four points was enough for Australia in Germany four years ago, but not this time.
"In the end the goal difference against Germany killed us."
Meanwhile, Everton midfielder Cahill hailed the Aussies' performance in Nelspruit despite the team's elimination.
"A lot of respect for the lads. We've been through some hard times here," said Cahill, who was sent off in the opening game against Germany.
"I'm just buzzing to hit the back of the net because this time last week my World Cup was over.
"You see guys who will play their hearts out and run all day and then others come on and do the same thing. We have a team that works together and the team is fantastic."