Select a Team

Prev Game: FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Fri 24th Mar

prev game - Serbia
team 1 score team 2
Georgia 1 - 3 Serbia

Next Game: FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Sun 11th Jun

next game - Serbia
team 1 score team 2
Serbia 19:45 Wales

Group D rivals confident

Antic and Neil buoyant ahead of crunch clash in Nelspruit

Last Updated: 23/06/10 12:04pm

  • Share:
Antic: Optimistic of progression

Antic: Optimistic of progression

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Serbia and Australia have both talked up their chances of reaching the World Cup knockout stages when they clash on Wednesday night.

Of the two sides, the Serbians are in pole position to book their place in the second round of the South Africa finals after their stunning win over Germany last Friday.

A win would guarantee a place in the last 16 and it would be the first time they have been beyond the group stages of a World Cup tournament.

And Radomir Antic believes his Eastern European side can make history at Nelspruit.

"We know that we have an opportunity of historical significance and we will try to do our best," said the Serbia coach, after seeing his side train on the Mbombela Stadium pitch.

"I would not like to put any additional pressure on my boys by saying they have to, but when I say I believe in my team, I say it quite truthfully. I am not just saying it.

Best ever

"I am optimistic because I know how my boys have performed during their last three training sessions - these were actually the best three sessions ever.

"This shows their spirit and now we have an opportunity to show it."

Serbia have six players on yellow cards, which could become a problem in the knockout phase, but at least have Aleksandar Lukovic back from suspension.

A draw might even be sufficient for Serbia, depending on the outcome of Ghana versus Germany at Soccer City in Johannesburg, but Australia definitely have no such luxury.

The Socceroos have endured a tough time in the tournament, thrashed 4-0 by Germany and then pegged back to a draw by Ghana after having a man sent off in each game.

With just one point and such a poor goal difference, Pim Verbeek's men must win - and probably convincingly - to stand any chance of progressing to the next stage.

Yet after qualifying for the event with ease, Australia are not prepared to give up lightly.

Urging belief

"I urge everybody to believe like the team believes," said Captain Lucas Neill. "There is still hope, there is still an opportunity.

"This team in the last three or four days has truly believed.

"We are not getting carried away, we know it is going to be a tough ask, but I would urge Australia, people watching back home, that this could be a history-writing game.

"I think you might be surprised - someone might come up to become a hero tonight."

Australia will be boosted by the return of Tim Cahill after suspension but Harry Kewell and Craig Moore are now banned.

  • Share:


Related Profiles


Most Popular


2018 draw explained

2018 draw explained

The road to Russia starts on Saturday as the qualifying draw for the 2018 World Cup takes place in St Petersburg.

World Cup review: Serbia

World Cup review: Serbia

Luis Suarez is the World Cup's biggest villain, according to Serbia FanZoner Matt Bright.

FanZone's final fling

FanZone's final fling

The World Cup FanZoners give their views on who will triumph at Soccer City on Sunday.