Australia’s World Cup ended with a whimper as goals from Andre Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero gave Peru a 2-0 victory in the teams’ group finale on Tuesday.
The Socceroos needed a win to stand any chance of reaching the last 16 for the first time since 2006, but they were undone by Carrillo’s 18th-minute strike and Guerrero’s goal early in the second half at the Fisht Stadium.
They go home without a win, joining Peru in being eliminated in Group C. However, for the South Americans there was only elation at ending their long wait for a victory in the competition.
Peru were already out before this game but they still had a huge travelling support, clad in the country’s distinctive white and red colours.
They made up the majority of the 44,073 crowd in sauna-like conditions by Russia’s Black Sea coast, and the stadium exploded when Carrillo scored their first goal at a World Cup since 1982.
It was their first win in nine games at the tournament since they defeated Iran 4-1 in Argentina in 1978, and they will now hope to build on their performances in Russia after finally coming in from the international wilderness.
Whatever Australia did would ultimately have been in vain as they needed Denmark to lose against France to maintain any chance of making it out of Group C — the Danes played out a 0-0 draw in Moscow that allowed them to advance behind the French.
For the Socceroos it is a third consecutive World Cup in which they have failed to make it beyond the group stage. Bert van Marwijk’s team took just one point, against the Danes, in between defeats at the hands of France and then Peru.