An inconsolable Tim Cahill has described his red card in Australia's 4-0 defeat to Germany in their World Cup opener as the saddest moment of his career before breaking down in tears in front of the media.
Cahill was sent off in the 56th minute for a challenge on German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, with Australia trailing 2-0 in Durban.
After the match Schweinsteiger approached Cahill in the media mixed zone and told the 30-year-old that the incident should not have earned him a red card.
That gesture almost proved too much for Cahill who struggled to compose himself as he spoke about the incident and the ramifications of the decision to give him a straight red card from Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez.
"I'm just sad. It's probably one of the saddest moments of my footballing career to be in this position," Cahill said.
"To hear Schweinsteiger say that, it's very nice of him to say it wasn't a red card. It just shows you how dreams can be made and crushed in the space of hours.
"It's one of the lowest points of my career. But this is the beauty of football. One day you are a hero, the next day you are at the bottom."
Cahill, who will miss next Saturday's game against Ghana at the very least, maintains there was no malice in the tackle and that he had attempted to avoid contact when it was apparent he was not going to get the ball.
"My leg stayed bent all the way. Never once did I try to straighten it. What do you want me to say?" he said.
"To have the momentum as we did in the second half, to have Emo (Brett Emerton) on the right and (Richard) Garcia on the left and show some desire to close down, to try and make things work.
"I thought the tempo was good and we just started to pick up and put pressure on them, make it play quicker.
"A lot of credit goes to the German team and for us, it makes it worse. I feel that maybe that decision changed the game, even though we were 2-0 down, I felt the momentum was with us."
Cahill has every confidence the Socceroos can bounce back without him against Ghana and wants to play a role in rebuilding the team's confidence.
"One hundred percent, it isn't about one player," he added.
"We've said from the start. I think for us, as players, especially myself is to be a role model to the young players and to try and make sure that I try and play as well as I can.
"I never doubt my own character. One thing I am is 100 percent committed to the cause. I'm 100 percent behind the lads and I'll train just as hard to prove my worth."