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.
|Roosters sign England international Hall|
|Ovechkin, Kim earn major honours at ESPY Awards|
|Owens not ´actively seeking´ to play in NFL again|
|Argentina need Messi – Tevez urges Lionel not to retire|
|Minnesota United 2 New England Revolution 1: Ramirez, Quintero sink stuttering visitors|
|Shaw: I want to be first name on Man United teamsheet|
|Manny Machado dealt to Dodgers|
|Pjanic hails Ronaldo arrival but refuses to confirm Juve future|
|Perotti: Roma can cope without Liverpool-bound Alisson|
|Klopp hopes Liverpool building towards title tilt|
|Karlovic exits as four seeds bow out in Newport|
|Angels clap back at Manfred´s marketing comments on Trout|
|Titans DL Casey will still protest despite new anthem policy|
|Popovich on Leonard trade: It´s time to move on|
|Zola returns to Chelsea as Sarri´s assistant|
|Anthony Joshua targets ´dream´ fight in Texas|
|Celtic 3 Alashkert 0 (6-0 agg): Dembele hits brace before injury worry|
|Schwartzman stumbles but Spanish duo reach last eight at Swedish Open|
|Top seeds progress in Bucharest as Larsson conquers Kung|
|Perez promises ´incredible´ signings at Real Madrid|
|Liverpool need a top goalkeeper - Souness|
|It was just an absolute car crash - Root regrets bat-drop celebration|
|Mourinho´s pre-season fears mount with Sanchez sidelined|
|Alisson thanks Roma fans ahead of rumoured Liverpool switch|
|Pogba must understand his World Cup heroics, says Mourinho|
|Odriozola excited by Lopetegui reunion at Real Madrid|
|Revis announces retirement from NFL after 11 seasons|
|The Open 2018 diary: Rahm´s saving Grace, Rory´s going grey|
|Kawhi Leonard traded to Raptors as DeMar DeRozan heads to Spurs|
|Cantona, Rosberg and other surprise retirements after Warburton hangs up his boots|
|No doubting Thomas as he climbs into yellow with stage win|
|Liverpool´s Oxlade-Chamberlain to miss ´vast majority´ of 2018-19|
|Open Championship by far the greatest - Player|
|Sarri wants new central midfielder and hints at Chelsea stay for Cahill|
|Nantes sign former Manchester United full-back Fabio|
|Marcelino rewarded with one-year Valencia extension|
|Warburton retires: Bale leads social media tributes to Welsh great|
|Mistakes do not define me, says Chelsea boss Sarri|
|Saints and Tigers to honour Horne with Twickenham clash|
|I want to keep Hazard, says Sarri|
|Europe must stop American juggernaut at Carnoustie|
|Joshua planning for heavyweight ´legacy´ – starting with Povetkin|
|Warburton retires: Wales and Lions star´s career in numbers|
|Matching ´ridiculous´ Tiger not on McIlroy´s radar|
|Spain sent me World Cup SOS, claims Benitez|
|Ozil, Gundogan critics should ´shut up´ - Klopp|
|McIlroy plans to play carefree at Carnoustie|
|Pakistan thrash Zimbabwe to secure series win|
|Warburton retires: Gatland salutes Wales and Lions great|
|Sturridge determined to stay at Liverpool|
|Mbappe is an alien – Varane|
|Warburton retires from rugby|
|India to assess Bhuvneshwar as Bumrah makes Test squad|
|Injured Craddock passes $100,000 in donations at Tour de France|
|WATCH: Perez taunts team-mate after audacious training goal|
|Alison Becker tweets ´I´m joining Liverpool´... but all is not as it seems|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton chasing down Schumacher - German GP in numbers|
|Notorious Carnoustie holds fond memories for legendary Watson|
|Rooney refused to be ´dead weight´ at Everton|
|The Open 2018: Molinari, Rahm and the in-form contenders at Carnoustie|
|Marsh interested in Australia leadership roles|
|United can challenge City for Premier League title, says Rooney|
|MLB All-Star 2018: Seven things you missed at Midsummer Classic|
|American League win home run-filled MLB All-Star game|
|Dragons lure Sims from Broncos|
|Cassano: Ronaldo like Nadal, Messi like Federer|
|Lakers´ Ball undergoes successful knee surgery|
|´We kill them, Messi or no Messi´ - Pogba´s pre-Argentina World Cup speech revealed|
|Cardinals suspend GM Keim for five weeks after DUI|
|Dalic: I can coach Brazil or Barca but Croatia my favourite|