Australia, Denmark struggle with high altitude

AUSTRALIA coach Pim Verbeek admitted his players struggled to deal with the playing conditions despite a 1-0 win over Denmark at Ruimsig Stadium near Johannesburg yesterday.

AUSTRALIA coach Pim Verbeek admitted his players struggled to deal with the playing conditions despite a 1-0 win over Denmark at Ruimsig Stadium near Johannesburg yesterday.

A scrambled 71st-minute Josh Kennedy goal was enough to hand the Socceroos victory but the Dutchman believes it will take time for his players to get used to high altitude.

"I think defensively we did very well and played very compact," he said. "Playing at altitude means that you have to change the way of playing and we saw that Denmark struggled when they tried to play long balls over the top," he said.

"We're going to train at altitude for the next 10 days but we play Germany at sea level in our first match so it will be interesting to see if we can change the way of playing."

Denmark have only been in the country since Saturday and struggled in the second half after shading the first period. Coach Morten Olsen said his team also struggled to deal with the flight of the ball.

"It was a game where there was very compact midfield play and space behind the defence. I will not search for an excuse for my team but it was difficult for both teams to get used to the ball. We still have two weeks to get used to the conditions because from what I saw it was very, very difficult to control the ball, but every team has to cope with that," he said. - Sapa-AFP

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