While their 3-1 defeat arrived for Australia on the back of a rousing revival against Chile, captain Mile Jedinak was frank at the final whistle, telling FIFA.com: “It doesn't make it any easier.”
After falling two goals behind early on to the South Americans, many Socceroos fans in the Arena Pantanal stands were fearing the worst as Jorge Sampaoli's side looked dominant. But after those early jitters, the Australians re-discovered themselves, hitting back before half-time and they were the better side for long stretches of the second-half – only conceding the third in the dying minutes.
“It's disappointing to be honest. We had a right go and those first 20 minutes ended up costing us,” the towering captain said. “We were on top of them, we were so dominant. We had a couple of good chances, and their keeper pulled off some great saves. It wasn't meant to be, that was the difference.”
Those early lapses, where Alexis Sanchez and Jorge Valdivia struck within two minutes of each other, ended up being just too much to overcome. On reflection Jason Davidson – Australia's hard-working 22-year-old left-back – felt maybe the occasion got to some of them in the opening stages.
We were on top of them, we were so dominant. We had a couple of good chances, and their keeper pulled off some great saves.
“For a lot of the boys, including myself, it's our first World Cup,” he told FIFA.com. “We were a bit star struck in the first 20 minutes as there's some great players that play for Chile, big names in European football, and I think we gave them a bit too much respect.
“We were a little bit anxious in the first 20 minutes, but as the game grew on and we got a goal back, that was when we really started to press. We started to believe in ourselves and then our strengths came out. I think the Chileans became a bit wary and of us when they were under [pressure], and they only got the third goal because we were trying to push and push.”
They will have to carry the momentum of their second-half display into their next Group C match when they meet a Netherlands side that will be riding on the wave of their stunning 5-1 win over Spain. Jedinak feels that his side will take very little motivating to be ready for their next challenge.
“I don't think it will be too difficult getting those boys up as they showed real character,” the Crystal Palace midfielder said. “I can't fault anyone for their efforts today. It was a massive task against a team that likes to dominate people with their physicality and their pressure, but it was the other way round today as they were on their last legs for a long part of that game.”
Davidson, too, believes it is time to build on the performance and now train their eyes on causing an upset in Porto Alegre against the Oranje. “Preparation is the key, and we have worked hard. I think we are a little bit unfortunate tonight, but that's football. Hopefully next week we can get a decent result against the Netherlands and surprise some people.”