WORLD CUP: Tim Cahill scores equalizer in Australia's send-off draw vs. South Africa

Cahill scores equalizer in Australia's send-off draw vs. South Africa

Tim Cahill will take the goal. But he'd happily trade it for a happier feeling in Australia's final home match before heading to Brazil.

The New York Red Bulls star bagged the equalizer in a 1-1 draw with South Africa on Monday at Sydney's Olympic Stadium, just one minute after the young Australian backline conceded a soft goal to Ayanda Patosi. Cahill headed in a perfectly weighted cross from Tommy Oar in the 14th minute, extending his lead atop Australia's all-time scoring charts to 32.

But the Socceroos will be disappointed not to get a better result against an understrength South Africa side as they prepare for the World Cup's "other" Group of Death, a slate that includes Spain, the Netherlands and Chile.

The match was Australia's first and only pre-World Cup friendly on home turf and was the last chance for players on Ange Postecoglou's 30-man squad to impress the coach before he trims the roster to 23 on Tuesday.

''It's three weeks until the first game at the World Cup," Cahill told reporters. "It's the first time a lot of us have actually played competitively together. I thought we were very brave and we made some mistakes here and there. But overall we've got to be ready to play the bigger teams.''