Verbeek okay with Australia’s draw at World Cup

Australia coach Pim Verbeek said his team’s World Cup draw “could have been better, could have been worse” after the Socceroos were drawn with three-time champion Germany, Serbia and Ghana in Group D.

Australia, which advanced to the second round in 2006, played then West Germany in its World Cup debut in 1974.

“Germany’s one of the best teams in the world – it’s a great opponent for the first game, Ghana is very strong and Serbia beat France,” Verbeek told Australia’s SBS Television from Cape Town.

“Every game is full of challenges. We have a good record against Ghana, we’ve never lost against them.”

Australia last played Germany at the 2005 Confederations Cup, matching the host nation for much of the game but losing 4-3 in Frankfurt.

Australia last played Ghana in a friendly in May last year, winning 1-0.

Sixth-ranked Germany and Australia play June 13 in Durban. Australia then takes on Ghana on June 19 in Rustenburg and Serbia in Nelspruit on June 23.

Serbia is ranked 20th in the world, one place ahead of Australia, while Ghana, which features Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, is 37th.

Australia could also face England in a second-round match next year.

If Australia finishes second in its group, it will play the winner of Group C, which will most likely be England.