Will Australia's saviour please stand up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Will Australia's saviour please stand up

By Doug Conway 18/06/2010 12:36:25 PM Comments (0)

The Socceroos can kiss the 2010 World Cup goodbye if they fail to score against Ghana on Saturday.

There's only one big problem - it's difficult to see where a goal is going to come from.

Tim Cahill, their usual saviour, is suspended.

Josh "Jesus" Kennedy only looks like a saviour, and might not even get on the park.

He was overlooked by coach Pim Verbeek in the disastrous 4-0 rout by Germany.

Kennedy might find the net if someone can land the ball on his high-altitude head in high-veld Rustenburg.

But there was precious little of that type of service against the Germans.

And what of Harry Kewell, Australia's finest talent?

Who knows?

He still hasn't kicked a ball in South Africa.

Kewell must play against Ghana - or Verbeek can expect to be lynched if he ever sets foot on Australian soil again.

But will he start? Will he come on as a substitute? Will he be fit enough?

Will he be the Harry of old, who scored a dramatic equaliser against Croatia that propelled Australia into the round of 16 four years ago?

Despite regular protestations that Kewell is fine, no-one really seems to have a clue, and at times that seems to include the player and the coach.

Attacking midfielder Mark Bresciano has also been out of touch, failing to inspire Verbeek to select him for the opening match.

So where will that goal come from, as come it must?

A draw is no good to the Socceroos.

Only a win will do.

If they can somehow fashion that victory, however, it will actually put them in the box seat to advance to the second stage, level on points but with the Ghanaians still to face Germany.

The Africans will miss their injured "bison" Michael Essien of Chelsea, but showed in their 1-0 win over Serbia that they are a strong, athletic, skilful and well-drilled outfit.

The Socceroos may have built their success on defence.

But they enter the fray in Rustenburg (eds: at midnight AEST) having conceded as many goals in 90 minutes against Germany as they did in their entire 14-match World Cup qualifying campaign.

Not the stuff to inspire confidence, maybe.

But they must throw everything they have at Ghana, and that includes Kewell and the kitchen sink.

This is their World Cup final.

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