Australia's bid at reaching the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time since 2006 was spoiled by Peru, as Paolo Guerrero, Andre Carrillo scored in a 2-0 win, that serves as consolation for La Blanquirroja and disappointment for the Socceroos.
Australia could have advanced with a victory and a Denmark loss. As it turned out, Denmark played France to a 0-0 draw and got the point it needed, but the Danes' standing was never in jeopardy thanks to Australia's failure to apply pressure in the Group C table.
The match started with Peru controlling possession, looking to break Australia's strong defensive unit, while the Socceroos looked to counter throught Aaron Mooy's creativity in the middle. As the minutes progressed, the counter was working as Peru was giving away the ball in crucial places, allowing its opponent to threaten, who was clearly looking for a win knowing its hope to qualify to the knockout stage was still alive.
In the ninth minute, Mile Jedinak was booked for a high challenge on Christian Cueva, who was looking to break in the middle of the park.
As the game developed, it was clear that Australia was in control, feeling more comfortable in possession and attacking the left hand side, while Peru contained at the back, showing very little offensively.
In the 17th minute, Carrillo who has been excellent throughout the tournament, scored a fantastic goal, thanks to the patience of Guerrero, who found the winger from the left hand side. Peru led 1-0.
Frustrations grew for Australia as another foul on Cueva showed impatience from Bert van Marwijk's side. A free kick looking for Guerrero in the 24th minute was not enough as his header was easily picked up.
In the 27th minute, Pedro Gallese made a crucial stop as a great run and a shot from inside the box was stopped by the Veracruz stopper. It was an alarm sign for La Blanquirroja, however, that Australia was not backing down.
Again, Australia threatened as in the 34th minute, a fantastic run from Tom Rogic found him one on one with Gallese, but the defensive unit managed to clear it out for a corner. Australia was pushing and Peru was allowing it. In the 38th minute, the Aussies were awarded a free kick just outside the box but Aaron Mooy's cross to Trent Sainsbury went wide of goal.
Equally on the other side, Luis Advincula's overwhelming pace won a set piece just outside Australia's box. Yoshimar Yotun stood behind it but it was easily cleared away. The first half ended with plenty of chances for both sides, with Carrillo's stunner leading Peru.
The second half started with a sense that Peru was looking to press a little higher as it searched for a second and in the 49th minute, Paolo Guerrero picked up the ball inside the box and made it 2-0.
Australia pushed to reduce the deficit as Tim Cahill nearly scored from inside the box with an audacious volley, but the attempt went wide and Peru escaped. The Aussies kept pushing, hoping for a goal as in the 65th minute, Mooy crossed in the ball from another set piece but Peru cleared with ease.
Australia, however, was looking threatening, especially since Daniel Arzani's introduction. The youngest player at the World Cup was creating all sorts of mayhem on the left hand side, but Peru stood firm thanks to an additional dose of fortune.
In the 80th minute, Peru nearly made the third goal as the team found itself in the box, but the ball hit the post and the score stayed at 2-0. In the 82nd minute, Jedinak had a chance to make it 2-1, but his set piece outside the box went high above Gallese's goal.
In the end, Peru came out victorious and finally secured its victory. After 36 years without a World Cup appearance, it was a well-earned victory after showing much class and talent in previous matches, while Australia bows out as well.
For Group C's other finale, read the match report from France's draw vs. Denmark here.
Here were the lineups for both teams:
Here are the rosters for both sides:
Goalkeepers:Brad Jones (Feyenoord), Mat Ryan (Brighton), Danny Vukovic (Genk)
Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Blue Wings), James Meredith (Millwall), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshopper Zurich).
Midfielders: Jackson Irvine (Hull City), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Robbie Kruse (VfL Bochum), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Mark Milligan (Al-Ahli), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Tim Cahill (Millwall)
Forwards: Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (Luzern), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian)
Manager: Bert van Marwijk
Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese (Veracruz), Carlos Caceda (Deportivo Municipal), Jose Carvallo (UTC)
Defenders: Aldo Corzo (Universitario), Luis Advincula (Lobos Buap), Christian Ramos (Veracruz), Miguel Araujo (Alianza Lima), Alberto Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Anderson Santamaria (Puebla), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo), Nilson Loyola (Melgar)
Midfielders: Renato Tapia (Feyenoord), Pedro Aquino (Lobos Buap), Yoshimar Yotun (Orlando City), Paolo Hurtado (Vitoria Guimaraes), Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo), Edison Flores (Aalborg), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Wilder Cartagena (Veracruz)
Forwards: Andre Carrillo (Watford), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia), Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo)
Manager: Ricardo Gareca