Australia failed to convert their many chances while Peru made the most of their few as both sides bowed out of the World Cup this evening.
Peru won 2-0, much to the delight of their avid fans as well as those of fellow Group C contenders Denmark, for whom an Oz victory might have spelt disaster for their campaign.
The first highlight of an entertaining and hard-fought game came in the 17th minute when Peru’s Watford-based Andre Carrillo smashed a volley from just inside the box as he latched on to a possibly offside Paolo Guerrero’s cross to open the scoring.
The men from down under took control and Tom Rogic, Robbie Kruse and Trent Sainsbury all came close to equalising.
However, Peru also had their moments and always seemed a yard quicker and a few more joules of energy livelier than the Socceroos, who brought on veteran Tim Cahill after the break.
Australia continued to spurn chances, with Tomi Juric just failing to get onto a long through ball from Aaron Mooy before Paulo Gurrero benefited from a slice of fortune to beat Mat Ryan after good play by Edison Flores on left (2-0).
Australia threw everything into the fray. Aziz Behich and Tim Cahill had shots blocked at close range and were frustrated when a Behich cross drifted past an unmarked Cahill.
Captain Mile Jedinak hammered a free kick ‘miles’ high over the bar and Matthew Leckie failed to pull the trigger bearing down on goal.
Australia had the better of the chances, but Peru had the finishing touches, and both teams head home having done all they could with the players at their disposal.