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Verbeek masterminds gutsy Australia point in China

Verbeek, who almost collapsed at a pre-match media conference with some reporters fearing he was suffering a heart attack, oversaw a professional display from Australia - though needed Mark Schwarzer to save a penalty in the final five minutes.

Shorn of his entire strike-force in the lead-up, Verbeek also lost reserves forward Archie Thompson in the opening minutes of the match after several heavy challenges from the Chinese defence. The Dutchman threw on midfielder Brett Holman as Thompson's replacement and saw his players create the best chances of the game.

Before halftime, Mark Bresciano should've scored when he hit the keeper from inside five yards. Then, in the final minutes - and immediately after Schwarzer's stunning spotkick save - David Carney failed to convert Bresciano's superb cross from point-blank range.

"We always like to win games, but if you look at it overall the draw is a good result," said Verbeek. "If you saw the final five minutes with the penalty, it was a good performance. A very exciting match.

"The back three did very well today with the Chinese long balls. I don't believe they lost any of them and then also we had the midfield collecting the second balls.

"Mark Bresciano and Brett Holman were magnificent in their work up and down the pitch."

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Tribal Football Staff

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