Analysis: Problems at both ends as Socceroos bow out

Published on: 28 June 2018

The introduction of Tomi Juric for the injured Andrew Nabbout up front was the only change for Bert van Marwijk who opted to leave Tim Cahill on the bench until the second half when his side had already gone 2-0 down.

The Socceroos were neither able to keep Peru from scoring nor to respond after going behind, ultimately causing them to bow out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the group stage.

Uncharacteristic Porosity

Van Marwijk carved a name for himself as a pragmatic manager who places high emphasis on a solid defensive foundation, but in Russia 2018, his Australia side failed to register a single clean sheet in their three games, shipping five goals as they finished bottom of the group.

Issues at the heart of the Australian defence were evident on Tuesday as centre-back pair Mark Milligan and Trent Sainsbury afforded Peru’s skipper Paolo Guerrero too much space throughout (see below average positions map) and they were duly punished for it.

The veteran marksman first found space between the duo to set up the first goal with a well weighted cross for Andre Carillo who volleyed home from the edge of the area. Guerrero then added his name to the scoresheet after evading Milligan in the box and beating goalkeeper Mat Ryan on the turn to seal the win for Peru.

Rogic Running the Show

Despite the defeat and the Socceroos’ inability to find the back of the net in Sochi, playmaker Tom Rogic was the brightest Australian player on the pitch, putting in a memorable performance.

The Celtic man completed a whooping 91% of his 22 passes, more impressively, the percentage rose up to 94% in the opposition half as he repeatedly found teammates in and around the Peruvian penalty box.

Rogic was denied a first World Cup goal by goalkeeper Pedro Gallese at the half-hour mark after storming into the penalty area. Minutes later he unlocked the Peruvian defence with a through pass for Robbie Kruse whose squared pass for Matthew Leckie was cleared by a last-ditch sliding tackle.

Profligacy Persists

The reigning Asian champions ended their World Cup campaign without a single goal from open play. Their two goals in the tournament came courtesy of Mile Jedinak penalty kicks against France and Denmark.

Australia's seven shots on target all tournament is the lowest of all four Group C sides. This wastefulness was again on display against Peru as the Socceroos aimed just two of their 14 shots between the sticks.

The 14% accuracy is a stark contrast to Peru’ 75% which saw them score twice from three efforts on goal, with the third being a Guerrero header saved by Ryan in the first half.