Teary Cahill devastated by red card

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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."