Socceroos’ World Cup Dream Over After Humbling Defeat

It was pretty painful to watch.

What you need to know
  • Australia 0 - Peru 2
  • 10’ Yellow Card - Mile Jedinak (AUS)
  • 18’ Goal - André Carillo (PER)
  • 45’ Yellow Card - Yoshimar Yotun (PER)
  • 50’ Goal - Paolo Guerrero (PER)
  • 60’ Yellow Card - Daniel Arzani (AUS)
  • 79’ Yellow Card - Paolo Hurtado (PER)
  • 88’ Yellow Card — Mark Milligan (AUS)

In the early hours of Wednesday morning (or late on Tuesday night for those in the West), Australia’s World Cup dreams were shattered after a 2-0 loss to Peru at Fisht Stadium in Sochi.

The Socceroos named an almost unchanged starting lineup to their first two matches -- only Tomi Juric coming into the side for the injured Andrew Nabbout.

Australia dominated the opening period of the match, denying Peru the chance to see any of the ball. Mathew Leckie and Aaron Mooy worked the ball through the midfield, providing plenty of service to the players upfront -- who were luckless in scoring.

A high boot on Christian Cueva by captain Mile Jedinak saw him pick up a yellow card in the tenth minute, but Australia continued to keep the lion's share of the ball and break down the Peru defence in the midfield.

A high boot by captain Mile Jedinak cost him a yellow card. Image: Getty

Against the run of play, a long-range kick from deep within Peru’s half put Jose Guerrero on the front foot. Australia had players in defence quickly, but a cross saw Andre Carillo put the ball in the back of the net with a right-foot volley. (Replays showed Guerrero to be marginally offside, but it went unchecked by VAR. We might also be slightly biased.)

Tom Rogic -- who had also been making life difficult for the three Peruvian midfielders -- almost single-handedly dragged Australia back into the game with fancy footwork on the edge of the penalty box around four defenders, before his shot was blocked by the keeper.

Despite being down, Australia remained positive, with multiple chances to equalise scuffed in front of the goal.

Mathew Leckie of Australia is challenged by Christian Cueva. Image: Getty

Peru had decent time in front of the Socceroos’ goal towards the end of the first half, testing Australia’s defence which stood tough against the barrage of attack.

Coming out of the sheds after halftime, Peru took control of play, keeping Australia off the ball.

The final nail in the coffin for the Socceroos saw Peru’s captain Guerrero knock a lucky deflection in for a second goal for la Blanquirroja in the 50th minute.

Paolo Guerrero of Peru scores his sides' second goal past Mathew Ryan. Image: Getty

In response, coach Bert van Marwijk made the first substitution of the match pulling off striker Juric for -- to the delight of the entire country -- national hero Tim Cahill.

Just five minutes later, teenage wunderkind Daniel Arzani was also called off the bench to replace the under-fire Robbie Kruse.

Australian hopes were raised when two corners were awarded in quick succession, but both missed the target by mere centimetres.

The injection of fresh legs seemed to be paying off, with Australia looking dangerous in the opposition's half, but Peru were quick on the counter-attack.

Arzani and Rogic both took a hit for the team with professional fouls in the 60th and 66th minutes respectively, copping the yellow cards to stop the Peruvians on the run.

Andre Carrillo of Peru is challenged by Tom Rogic. Image: Getty

The third and final change for the Aussies saw a spent Rogic, who had been one of Australia’s hardest workers, subbed for Jackson Irvine to provide his box-to-box pace.

In due credit, Australia kept applying attacking pressure but couldn’t convert the pressure into goals.

With four additional minutes added, Peru seemed happy to let the clock wind down and take out their only win of the tournament -- and first World Cup win in 36 years.

It wasn't to be for Tim Cahill. Image: Getty

With just one minute of game time remaining, Australia’s fate was confirmed as full-time was called at Luzhniki Stadium in the France versus Denmark match.

The Socceroos were sweating on the result in Moscow, but Denmark and France drew nil-all. Australia had been depending on a France-win to give them a chance to advance.

But it was not to be; Australia would end the tournament with just one point, leaving France and Denmark to progress to the round of 16.