Australia mourns death of former national team coach Verbeek

Australia mourns death of former national team coach Verbeek
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Round of 16 - Iran v Oman - Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - January 20, 2019 Oman coach Pim Verbeek before the match. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem Copyright SUHAIB SALEM(Reuters)
By Reuters
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former Australia coach Pim Verbeek, who led the team to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa before enjoying a successful spell with Oman, died on Thursday. He was 63.

Verbeek, who was also South Korea boss for two years after being an assistant to fellow Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, took the Socceroos job after the 2007 Asian Cup finals.

Australia were the second team to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals, about an hour after Japan, and finished third in their group but managed to beat Serbia 2-1 in their last game.

"The thoughts and sympathies of everyone in Australia's football community are with Pim Verbeek's nearest and dearest at this difficult time," Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou said in a statement.

"Pim made a great mark on Australian football, and is fondly remembered by the people that worked closely with him.

"Pim's record as coach of the Socceroos can only be looked back on as strong, however the outpouring of sincere sentiments since news of his passing filtered through last night highlights the esteem in which he was kept by many."

Verbeek moved to Morocco as their head of youth development before he took over as coach of Oman in 2016, with the side advancing to the round of 16 at the Asian Cup earlier this year for the first time.

He left the job shortly after the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Toby Davis)

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