CUIABA, Brazil (AP) — With his trademark shadow-boxing routine at the corner flag, Australia forward Tim Cahill may provide one of the iconic goal celebrations at this World Cup.
And if anyone is going to score in Brazil for the tournament's lowest-ranked team, it's most likely going to be Cahill.
But therein lies the problem for the Socceroos, who are heading into a third straight World Cup with their chances having been written off before a ball has been kicked.
A reliance for goals on a 34-year-old in the twilight of a career spent mostly playing as a midfielder exposes the dearth of forward options for coach Ange Postecoglou in Brazil.
The only other out-and-out striker in the squad is 21-year-old Adam Taggart, who has just four international caps and is playing abroad for the first time.
That lack of a cutting edge is the main reason why Australia has been given little hope in a Group B that contains heavyweights Spain and the Netherlands, as well as first-up opponent Chile on Friday.
"We certainly believe we can be a threat in other areas," Postecoglou said after a training session in the stifling humidity in western city Cuiaba on Thursday, when asked about Australia's weakness up front, "but with Timmy, if he does get half a chance in the box, particularly in the air, he can hurt any opposition.
"I'm not worried. If he keeps scoring, I'm going to be happy."
And no one has scored more goals for the Socceroos than Cahill, whose total has risen to 32 after playing up front for the national team for the past four or five years.
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