SOCHI (RUSSIA): Australia's World Cup hopes ended with a whimper as goals from Andre Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero gave Peru a 2-0 victory in the teams' group finale at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on Tuesday.
The Socceroos needed a win to stand any chance of reaching the last 16 for the first time since 2006, but their fate was sealed when Peru skipper Paolo Guerrero smashed a second-half goal.
Australia headed into the clash on the back of 1-2 defeat at the hands of France and 1-1 draw against Denmark in the opening two matches. Walking on the same lines, Peru were also without a win in the World Cup prior to this match.
However, 11th-ranked Peru finally managed to break their deadlock in the tournament and earn three points with a win over 36th-ranked Australia. Soon after the referee blew the whistle, Peru started dominating the possession, but they failed to produce any threat for Australia.
Subsequently, Australia fought back and came close to scoring a goal when their forward Tomi Juric struck a ball towards the goalpost, only to see Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese making a save.
In the 18th minute of the match, striker Andre Carrillo finally opened Peru's account in the 2018 World Cup when he smashed a volley from the edge of the box to put his side ahead.
Australia got a brilliant chance to level the score when Tom Rogic exhibited brilliant footwork to enter into the box, but his effort was saved by keeper Pedro Gallesev in the 27th minute.
Rogic, however, continued his brilliance in the field as he passed the ball to Robbie Kruse who made the chance for Mathew Leckie to score but Peru's defence managed to avoid the danger.
The first-half ended at 1-0, in favour of Peru.In the early minutes of the second-half, Peru managed to double their lead via skipper Paolo Guerrero.
Guerrero struck a second goal for Peru with a hooked shot from close range in the 50th minute of the match to dent Australia hopes of making into the round-of-16.
Most of the second half went with Australia missing number of chances to score a goal, while Peru trying hard to avoid any loopholes. Peru eventually managed to hold Australia and clinch a win in the first-ever encounter between the two sides.
With the win, Peru finished at the third spot in the group, while Australia ended at the bottom of Group C with a single point from their three games.
However, both the teams knocked out of the showpiece event as the other two teams of the group -France and Denmark-grabbed the top two spots following a goalless draw between the two sides.
Group winners France will now lock horns with the runners-up in a group containing Argentina, Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria, while Denmark will face the team who finishes top. ANI
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