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Germany vs Australia

World Cup Finals 2010 - Group Stage, Match 1
Germany vs Australia
at Durban Stadium, Durban, South Africa on 2010-06-13T10:30:00
Score: 0-4 (0-2)
Official Info: FIFA Details
Previous Match: Australia vs USA
Next Match: Australia vs Ghana

Our tournament got off to the worst possible start. We were thrashed 0-4 by the Germans and Tim Cahill was given an undeserved red card and will miss our next match.

I have to admit to fearing a loss and wussing out completely by sleeping through the game and watching it when I got up. But I didn't expect this. After a promising start where we nearly had a goal, we conceded early. This is the worst scenario for our current team and its tactics. When we go behind we have little in the way of getting back into the match. The Germans deserved their second goal as their pace and tactics often exposed our defense. 0-2 at half-time and we didn't look like getting back into it. We were slow and lacking in ideas. And we seemed to make it worse by constantly arguing with the referee; Lucas Neill the worst offender, constantly disputing (incorrectly I might add) offside decisions.

We began the second half well and were getting more of the ball and play. And then disaster - a red card for Tim Cahill. To be honest, I'm not sure he even deserved a yellow card in the context of the other yellow cards in the match. Down to ten men, we conceded two more goals in quick succession. We hung on for the last 20 minutes. What a nightmare.

On the whole I thought the referee had a pretty good game. The red card seemed unjustified, but I couldn't fault the rest of his game. He coped with the Aussies' dissent just fine. The best thing though was the two yellow cards he handed out for diving. On both occasions the replays showed he was spot on. Let's hope this is applied throughout the tournament.

Our selections and resulting tactics have to be called into question. Why on Earth did Verbeek break with his results driven approach for such a key game. The one time he could really justify sticking to his guns, he went for untried combinations and players with only a few caps. To his credit, he took full responsibility, but our best hope was a draw, which was going to be difficult with a change in tactics.

Ghana defeated Serbia 1-0 in the earlier match. So we must beat Ghana and hope Germany thrash Serbia. This would leave us level with Ghana on points (although behind on goal difference one imagines) and Serbia with nothing to play for when we meet them. But there's a real question mark over whether we can beat Ghana. We'll have to re-group mentally and find a way of scoring goals without Tim Cahill. It's looking pretty desperate really.