Australia's hopes at Russia 2018 were left looking slim after Thursday's 1-1 draw against Denmark, with Tim Cahill left on the bench once more despite further evidence of a lack of cutting edge.
Head coach Bert van Marwijk stuck with the same starting XI from their opening 2-1 Group C loss to France and, perhaps predictably, familiar flaws proved the Socceroos' downfall in Samara.
Speaking to some of Australia's fans and ex-players in the build-up to the clash, the common criticism levelled at the team was its inability to break sides down and create chances.
Former winger Stan Lazaridis, part of the 2006 squad that reached the second round, had called for Cahill to start and summed up the failings of the current vintage.
"We've just got to score a goal, that's our problem at the moment," he told Omnisport.
"The guys have been playing well, it's hard, we had an era there with the [Mark] Vidukas and these sort of players playing in the Premier League week in, week out so it was a high calibre of player.
"We probably don't have that high calibre of players [now] but saying that we've still got some very good individuals...our problem has been scoring goals and even through qualifying it was an issue.
"Defensively we've performed really well, just going forward we just don't have that calibre of player."
And so it proved here at Samara Arena, as Christian Eriksen's superb early finish underlined the disparity in quality between the functional, physical Aussies and the one world-class talent on the pitch.
To their credit, the Socceroos bounced back strongly from that early setback and, on balance, deserved their equaliser through Mile Jedinak's penalty - even if it was fortuitous in its circumstances as the VAR system once again played a pivotal role.
In the second period, Australia were by far the better side but all too often they were profligate from promising positions as key passes went astray.
During the pre-match media conference, suggestions to Van Marwijk that Cahill - the country's record goalscorer featuring at his fourth World Cup - could start were dismissed with a succinct "everybody has a chance".
But the veteran Dutchman kept faith with the side that performed admirably against France; Andrew Nabbout, Tom Rogic, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie comprising a forward line full of bustle and industry but with just 21 international goals between them.
Cahill, who has 50, was left on the bench in the opener and Australia found themselves in a similar situation here at 1-1 with time ticking down, unsure whether to stick or twist.
As in Kazan, Van Marwijk threw on 19-year-old Daniel Arzani - the youngest player at the finals - and when Nabbout went off with a shoulder injury, Tomi Juric was summoned from the bench.
Australian fans close to the media seats had begun to call for Cahill but when Jackson Irvine replaced Rogic they were forced to accept their wishes would be denied, leaving them with a lot to do to reach the last 16.
|Arsenal chief confirms Super League talks|
|Hooker knocks out Saucedo to retain WBO strap|
|NBA wrap: Kyrie Irving sizzles as Celtics beat Raptors in overtime|
|Jimmy Butler aims dig at Timberwolves following 76ers home debut|
|Koeman surprised by dominant Netherlands|
|Southgate rallies England ahead of Nations League decider|
|Chile 2 Costa Rica 3: Waston brace sinks La Roja|
|Tite inspired by Guardiola´s City|
|Argentina 2 Mexico 0: Funes Mori´s header helps to sink El Tri|
|Lovren ready for ´fiery´ England clash|
|Brazil captain Neymar pleased with stern Uruguay test|
|Ravens´ Flacco doubtful, Jackson could start|
|Richarlison: I want to be at the Copa America|
|Tabarez buoyed by inexperienced Uruguay|
|Howell fires 64 again to extend RSM Classic lead|
|I´m proud of them - Giggs still upbeat despite Denmark defeat|
|Mancini ´very sorry´ for Ronaldo absence|
|Neymar clinches anything-but-friendly win for Brazil over Uruguay|
|Cipriani-inspired Gloucester thrash Tigers|
|Djokovic makes it three wins from three at ATP Finals|
|Germany relegated from Nations League top tier to cap miserable 2018|
|Fulham will back Ranieri in January transfer window if required|
|Brazil 1 Uruguay 0: Neymar penalty settles tight contest|
|Netherlands 2 France 0: Wijnaldum & Depay decisive as Germany are relegated|
|Wales 1 Denmark 2: Jorgensen and Braithwaite seal Nations League promotion|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain targeting early return|
|New Zealand-born Aki will ´relish´ facing All Blacks – Marmion|
|Portugal cannot focus on absent Ronaldo - Santos|
|Ramsey reiterates he wants to stay with Jaguars despite cryptic tweet|
|We tried to hit a home run and it didn´t work out - D´Antoni explains Carmelo exit|
|West Ham´s Zabaleta backs Premier League´s VAR introduction|
|Southgate eyes winning end to England´s ´brilliant year´|
|Patient Zverev seizes opportunity to make amends at ATP Finals|
|Rodgers: Packers still believe they can make playoffs|
|Mahomes hoping to ketchup to Heinz´s touchdown target|
|Ranieri tells Fulham fans not to expect repeat of Leicester ´fairytale´|
|Brown to leave role as RFU chief executive|
|Croatia star Rakitic ruled out of England clash|
|Capital gains for Zverev as he secures last-four spot in London|
|Sancho rise continues with Player of the Month award|
|Jones-Buchanan, Ablett and Briscoe sign new Rhinos deals|
|Root leads from the front as aggressive England assume control|
|Croatia´s Lovren antagonises Ramos and ´rude´ Spain|
|Rakitic has ´enormous respect´ for England ahead of Nations League decider|
|Ireland make flanker switch with Leavy out of All Blacks clash|
|Pakistan rip through Black Caps in Abu Dhabi|
|WATCH: Barcelona mark 15-year anniversary of Messi´s first match|
|Sterling, that you? - Walker uses falling fan to poke fun at England team-mate|
|Fleetwood applies pressure on Molinari, Wallace leads in Dubai|
|Don´t talk to me about VAR – Rakitic not over World Cup final loss|
|Van Dijk leadership essential for Liverpool – Wijnaldum|
|Dalic: Croatia´s bench was ready to stop Spain!|
|Sublime Root century gives England imposing lead|
|Vinicius appreciates Solari influence at Real Madrid|
|Havertz would suit Bayern Munich – Kimmich|
|Wilder: Roach recruitment a sign of Fury nerves|
|Ranieri targets defensive improvements at failing Fulham|
|PSG close investigation into player recruitment practices after finding no discrimination|
|Mayweather: Nasukawa exhibition back on|
|Witsel: Joining Borussia Dortmund my best career decision|
|Ballon d´Or win would not change Modric´s ´best year´|
|Ireland v New Zealand: Opta stats behind the meeting of the world´s top two|
|The Breakdown: A statistical look at Saturday´s rugby internationals|
|Batshuayi dismisses reports of Valencia departure|
|Brazil must make Copa America final – Tite|
|Rockets rout Warriors as Green goes scoreless|
|Seahawks rally past Packers|
|Lakers G Rondo to miss 4-5 weeks|
|Durant is done with questions about Green|
|Smith, Warner set to return to IPL in 2019|