THE Australian government hopes a good showing in South Africa will increase its chances of hosting the World Cup but die-hard soccer fans fear the nation's best chance of lifting the trophy has been and gone. Four years ago in Germany the Socceroos gifted Italy a penalty late in a game that could have seen them make the last eight.
Fast forward to South Africa 2010 and Australia are without world-class coach Guus Hiddink. It's an unsettled side, with Hiddink's successor, fellow Dutchman Pim Verbeek, still experimenting with the line-up.
An inability to score goals and shallowness of talent could see the Aussies make an early exit.