Australia have been knocked out of the World Cup after a 2-0 defeat to Peru, consigning the Socceroos to a fourth-place in Group C.
Australia headed into the game knowing a victory may be enough to secure qualification beyond the group stages of the World Cup if France were to beat Denmark. However, the 2-0 defeat to Peru left the Australians languishing in last place in the group come full time.
Bert van Marwijk’s men started the stronger of the two sides. Early pressure saw the Aussies dictate the play in Sochi and their attacking frontline of Robbie Kruse, Tom Rogic, Mathew Leckie, and Tomi Juric failed to convert early pressure.
Then on 18 minutes, against the run of play, Peru opened the scoring. Yoshin Yotun played an exquisite ball over the top for captain Paolo Guerrero, who turned and delivered a pinpoint cross for the oncoming Andre Carrillo. The winger latched onto the delivery and directed the ball on the volley beyond the grasp of Matthew Ryan and into the corner of the Aussie goal.
The Australians responded and had half chances to equalise in the game. First, Tom Rogic tested the keeper after dancing his way through the Peruvian defence, but his effort was saved.
Then, the Socceroos wasted their best chance of the half, as Robbie Kruse darted down the left and squared for Leckie, and with the goal gaping, the Peru defence made a last-ditch tackle to deny the Aussies what would have been a timely equaliser.
But, hopes of qualifying for the next round were dashed when captain Guerrero doubled Peru’s advantage. After Cueva’s pass into the striker was deflected, Paolo Guerrero swivelled and shot towards Mathew Ryan in the Australian goal, but it deflected off defender Mark Milligan and left the Brighton goalkeeper flat-footed to react to the effort, as the captain wheeled away in celebration.
As the game wore on, the Australians looked tiresome and less likely to find the goal to kick the game back into life. They almost conceded a third as Peru struck the post, but the offside flag spared their blushes.
But Peru saw the game out as Australia depart the World Cup with just one point from their group matches. The final group game failed to provide Tim Cahill with the swansong ending Australia would have liked.
Five takeaways from Peru vs Australia
Australia need a striker
The Aussies haven’t had a real frontman since Viduka, and the reliance on Jedinak and, previously, Cahill is evident.
Peruvians love the World Cup
The noise during the anthems, the stories of selling their houses to fund their travel — Peruvians will do anything to follow their national team.
Australia should have qualified
They should have beaten this Peru side and picked a point up against France but it wasn't to be.
Arzani shows the future is bright
Arzani injected pace and excitement into the Aussie side with his skill and ability and brought a new dimension to the match.
Peru love Guerrero
This was Peru's first World Cup win in 40 years and fans loved the fact that 34-year-old Guerro scored one of the goals, especially after it wasn't sure he was going to be allowed to play in the competition.