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.
20. November 2018
|Cane eyes 2019 Super Rugby return after neck break|
|Van Dijk finds time to console referee during Dutch delight|
|Cahill sheds tear at end of phenomenal Australia career|
|WATCH: Pelicans coach Gentry interviews himself|
|Where does Chiefs-Rams classic rank among NFL´s highest-scoring matches?|
|Australia 3 Lebanon 0: Boyle bags brace on Cahill farewell|
|Guendouzi underlines desire to represent France|
|I might need a couple of drinks to relax after that! - Rams coach McVay|
|Juventus´ Alex Sandro has Premier League ambition|
|Ederson taking goalkeeping to another level, says City hero Weaver|
|Ceferin dismisses "super league" plans as fiction|
|Rams defeat Chiefs in one of the highest scoring games in NFL history|
|Kemba Walker leads Hornets to win over Celtics|
|Gomez praises ´top player´ Van Dijk, Stones|
|Cricket Australia to maintain Smith, Warner ball tampering bans|
|Brazil´s Tite encouraged by Neymar captaincy|
|Holmes set for NFL switch after Cronulla release|
|Dier encourages English youngsters to follow Sancho´s lead|
|Southgate promises further changes to England squad|
|Jones sceptical over Pocock injury|
|Sane encouraged despite Germany´s ´annoying´ Nations League draw|
|Character got Netherlands through, says Koeman|
19. November 2018
|Netherlands´ focus still on Euros - Van Dijk|
|Ireland will be ready for qualifiers, insists O´Neill|
|Smith undergoes successful surgery, Redskins sign Sanchez|
|Germany 2 Netherlands 2: Dramatic five-minute fightback seals Oranje progression|
|Denmark 0 Republic of Ireland 0: Thrills at a premium again in Aarhus|
|O´Brien could return for start of Six Nations|
|Cavani: Neymar and I are ´friends, brothers, team-mates´|
|Pothas named Windies interim head coach|
|LA Galaxy planning for Ibrahimovic stay|
|NFL will return to Mexico City in 2019|
|Broner vows to end Pacquiao´s career in Las Vegas|
|UEFA should punish PSG and Man City, says LaLiga chief|
|Teenage driver Floersch has ´no fear of paralysis´ after operation|
|Mancini bemoans Italy´s misfortune in front of goal|
|Sprint legend Johnson ´pretty much back to normal´ after stroke|
|Bournemouth defender Adam Smith out for three months|
|World champions France out to end 2018 on a high|
|I told him there´s no future in football! A-Rod relieved to be ignored by Mahomes|
|Dembele must focus and be more responsible - Suarez|
|Neymar could return one day – Barca chief|
|Cole backs West Ham to keep Arnautovic|
|Injury rules Bernardo Silva out of Poland clash|
|Lamar Jackson debut start ´spectacular´ - Ravens coach Harbaugh|
|Babar run out the turning point, laments Sarfraz|
|West Ham boost London Stadium capacity to 60,000|
|A great advertisement for Test cricket - Williamson revels in stunning win|
|Van Dijk one of the world´s best - Klaassen|
|Floersch had ´angel on her shoulder´ in horror crash|
|Gascoigne charged with sexual assault|
|I am going to stay at Chelsea and fight, insists Giroud|
|Hansen to make announcement on All Blacks future|
|I have reached the top by joining Chelsea - Sarri|
|Bonucci tells Italy boo boys to ´live with less envy´|
|Dramatic Pakistan collapse gives Stead first New Zealand Test win|
|Button enjoying racing for first time in years|
|Dortmund chief not planning Pulisic sale|
|Theismann: Smith leg break ´heart-wrenching´ to watch|
|Wolves defender Jonny suffers knee injury|
|Holmes to meet with Sharks amid NFL switch talk|
|LeBron made 51 points ´look easy´, says Walton|
|McGuire signs four-year deal with Cowboys|
|Bears beat Vikings to extend NFC North lead|
|Peng overcomes Davis in Houston final|
|Kerr says this has been his toughest stretch as Warriors coach|
|LeBron scores 51 in Lakers´ win, Warriors fall to Spurs|
|Win more than Djokovic? Let´s chill out – Zverev|
|Steelers´ rally highlights wild day of close, last-minute finishes|
|Modric not worried about Ballon d´Or|