The Socceroos earned their first win of the tournament over Serbia but it was not enough to lift them over Ghana into the second round.
In the 69th minute Man of the Match Tim Cahill, who returned to the pitch after being dismissed in the Germany loss, battled over a defender to get his head on a cross and redirect in into back of the net.
Brett Holman got his second goal of the tourney just four minutes later to put the Aussies on top 2-0 and one goal away from the second round.
Australia needed to score at least three goals in their victory but couldn’t quite manage it despite scoring two quick goals in the second half. Had they scored four, they would edge Ghana in the goals for category, since they were blanked by Germany, and second place in the so-called “group of death” would have been theirs.
It was not just the Aussies that couldn’t take advanatage of the opportunity – another notch in the win column could have lengthened Serbia’s tournament as well.
They got within one of the intrepid Aussies on a Marko Pantelic goal in the 84th minute but neither team could do what they needed to in order to oust Ghana.
Group D finished like this: Germany took first place, Ghana moved through in second, Australia just missed out on goal differential in third and Serbia was only one point behind in fourth.
Germany will face England in round two on June 26 while Ghana and the United States will face off the next day.