Cahill ruled out of World Cup qualifier - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cahill ruled out of World Cup qualifier

By Adrian Warren 23/03/2008 06:28:45 PM Comments (0)

Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek's injury woes heading into Wednesday's crucial World Cup qualifying against China in Kunming have worsened with star midfielder Tim Cahill ruled out.

Cahill was left out of a 21-man squad after lasting only 10 minutes in Everton's 1-1 English Premier League draw with West Ham overnight before re-injuring his foot.

He will remain in Europe this week along with winger Mile Sterjovski, who hobbled off the field in Derby's 1-0 loss to Middlesbrough with a groin injury.

The pair join other notable absentees from the squad including Brett Emerton, who is who is sidelined with a groin strain and Joshua Kennedy, who has a knee problem.

The latest injury news is a significant blow to Verbeek, who was again looking to field the strongest possible line-up following Australia 3-0 opening qualifier victory at home to Qatar last month.

Verbeek included nine members of the squad which drew 0-0 with Singapore on Saturday night including Harry Kewell, Archie Thompson, Mark Bridge and Olyroos regulars Bruce Djite and Nikolai Topor-Stanley.

Former captain and striker Mark Viduka, whose international future remains up in the air, was again not considered despite scoring in Newcastle's 2-0 win over Fulham overnight.

Form A-League strikers Joel Griffiths and John Aloisi were left out while Jacob Burns, Nick Carle, Adam Federici and James Troisi also missed out despite having been named in Verbeek's provisional squad for the China match.

Verbeek headed to China unconcerned by his team's inability to beat lowly ranked Singapore in soggy conditions and was more interested in the performance of his players than the result.

He blooded nine players, the most debutants in a Socceroos team for 18 years.

"I think it was a very good test. I've learnt a lot about my players, as far as I can see everybody is fit," Verbeek said.

Bridge, who recently signed for Sydney FC, said he was delighted to be a part of the A-League contingent considered by Verbeek for the match.

"I have been very lucky to get the call up to go to China, now it's just a matter of getting over there and maybe getting on the bench," he said.

Bridge came closest to breaking the deadlock on a glue pot pitch, but his first half attempt clipped the cross bar.

The match in Kunming will be played at an altitude of more than 1900m, with the home team already based in the area since the start of this month.

"At altitude, it's going to be a big challenge for all of us, but we are looking forward to it," Topor-Stanley said.

Socceroos: Michael Beauchamp, Mark Bresciano, Mark Bridge, David Carney, Ante Covic, Jason Culina, Bruce Djite, Vince Grella, Adam Griffiths, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Harry Kewell, Patrick Kisnorbo, Scott McDonald, Lucas Neill, Jade North, Mark Schwarzer, Archie Thompson, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire.

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