Tom Rogic's 7/10 showing gives Australia encouragement, but it's not enough in loss to Peru
Australia's World Cup campaign ended in frustration, as they dominated possession against Peru before ultimately succumbing 2-0 in their Group C finale. There were reasonable calls for offside for the opening goal, but really it was the Socceroos' lack of quality in goal-scoring positions at both ends of the pitch that ultimately cost them.
The Socceroos started the contest in a much more positive fashion than seen previously under Bert van Marwijk. More often than not, the ball was played to the feet of either Aaron Mooy or Mile Jedinak early, allowing them to pick out players in more-advanced positions before they were closed down completely. As a result, this game was a rare chance to see how Tom Rogic can operate when given a little space.
You have to score goals to win football matches. Unfortunately, Australia have been unable to do that of late, including in this do-or-die clash. Despite having a glut of possession and ideal field position for much of the match, the Socceroos really struggled to get off a decent shot on goal.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Van Marwijk predictably played it safe by starting Tomi Juric in place of the injured Andrew Nabbout, but the Dutchman seemed to get his tactics right as Australia started the game very well. Some will say that he should have brought on Tim Cahill and Daniel Arzani at the start of the second half, but it's unclear if that would have changed the Socceroos' fate. Regardless, Van Marwijk's tenure ended in a frustrating manner.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Mat Ryan, 6 -- Beaten by an outstanding Andre Carrillo volley and a deflected Paolo Guerrero strike but, as ever, his distribution was superb in a match where he was otherwise required to do very little.
DF Aziz Behich, 6 -- Worked ever so hard again for his country, full of running up and down the left touchline. Perhaps not as influential in attack as in other games, but still a solid performance at both ends of the pitch.
DF Mark Milligan, 5 -- A better showing with the ball at his feet but arguably not aggressive enough when defending for Peru's second goal.
DF Trent Sainsbury, 5 -- Lost his man for Peru's opening goal and gave the ball away a few times. All in all, an uncharacteristically sloppy game for the central defender.
DF Josh Risdon, 5 -- Covered some serious ground throughout the game in another tireless effort. Caught too far forward for Peru's second goal, though, another example of his positioning not quite being right at this level.
MF Aaron Mooy, 6 -- The midfielder's set pieces offered Australia a great route to goal and his passing game was largely on point.
MF Mile Jedinak, 6 -- Another solid performance from the skipper, despite not having a penalty to convert on this occasion.
MF Tom Rogic, 7 -- One of the playmaker's best outings for the national team in some time from an attacking perspective, largely due to the space provided by Peru's midfield. Very encouraging signs for the future, just as doubts were beginning to loom over his fit with the Socceroos.
MF Robbie Kruse, 6 -- Made a couple of intelligent runs in behind the Peruvian defence in the first half and, but for a brilliant last-ditch challenge, would have had an assist to his name.
MF Mathew Leckie, 5 -- The winger appeared much flatter than he did against Denmark, lacking the burst of speed that caused so many problems down the right.
FW Tomi Juric, 4 -- Apparently Juric played 52 minutes in this game. It's hard to imagine a player having less impact in that time.
FW Tim Cahill, 6 -- Came on with Australia's World Cup hopes in tatters, but provided a spark off the bench. Though the Socceroos legend was unable to score in a fourth consecutive World Cup, it was still a fitting finale on the biggest stage.
MF Daniel Arzani, 6 -- Again looked lively in the 32 minutes he was given, Arzani has not only put himself on the shopping list of many clubs across the globe, but has shown he has the potential to become a genuine match-winner for the national team in the future.
MF Jackson Irvine, N/R -- Put himself about in the final 20 minutes, at which point the contest was effectively already over.
Rob Brooks writes about Australian football and the A-League for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @RobNJBrooks