Australia drew 1-1 with Ghana on Saturday, leaving the Aussies’ World Cup campiagn in tatters. 

The team coughed up an early lead when Harry Kewell gave away a penalty, and was sent off, for handling the ball in the box in the 25th minute.

The result leaves Australia needing a minor miracle to qualify for the knockout stage – they must first beat Serbia on Wednesday and hope either Ghana upset Germany, or Germany beat Ghana by enough to put Australia through on goal difference.

Australian fans, who booed their manager, Pim Verbeek, before the kick-off, finally had something to cheer when the Socceroos got off to a dream start. On 11 minutes, Mark Bresciano’s free kick brought a fumble from Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Kingson and Brett Holman was there to volley home.

Unfortunately, the celebrations were short-lived. When Ghana’s Jonathan Mensah seized on a looping cross, his powerful drive from close range hit Kewell’s arm on the goal-line. Italian referee Roberto Rosetti had little hesitation in pointing to the spot and whipping out a red card – though many felt Kewell’s transgression was not deliberate – and Asamoah Gyan duly scored with his spot-kick.

Depsite being a man down, Australia battled valiantly for the remainder of the game and had their chances to snatch an unlikely victory but failed to capitalise.

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