The Socceroos will kick off next week’s Confederations Cup in Russia on the back of a 4-0 loss to Brazil at the MCG.
A hideous start handed Brazil a 1-0 lead – and brace-scorer Diego Souza his maiden international goal – after just 12 seconds at the MCG on Tuesday night before Thiago Silva Taison finished the hosts off.
And while Australia were clearly outclassed and could have shipped more goals had the classy Selecao been more ruthless, the 48th-ranked nation dug in for long periods against the world No.1 five-time world champions.
Ange Postecoglou delivered on his promise to give players a run before the Confederations Cup, starting Tim Cahill and Mitch Langerak among eight changes to the starting XI that featured last up against Saudi Arabia.
Young bolter Ajdin Hrustic also made his debut off the bench.
The coach stuck to his guns on his controversial 3-4-3 formation but it had nothing to do with Australia’s three-man backline being breached on the very first play.
Bailey Wright’s errant pass embarrassingly gave cheap possession to Giuliano, who spotted Souza’s run and teed up a clever pass for the Sport Recife man to squeeze home.
Philippe Coutinho, wearing his country’s armband for the first time, essentially did as he pleased and was at times unplayable.
Yet the Socceroos settled into the contest, pressing Brazil’s defenders despite being heavily out-possessed with the returning Mark Milligan a particularly bright spark.
Aziz Behich soared down the left and whipped in a cross for a menacing Cahill to force a last-ditch Brazil clearance, before Cahill’s snap volley from the subsequent corner flew over the crossbar while James Troisi fired wide just before half-time.
Brazil continued to please the 48,847-strong crowd with some sublime interplay between Coutinho, Souza and Alex Sandro, only for Paulinho to fluff his lines.
After the break Postecoglou set loose Hrustic, Jamie Maclaren and Jackson Irvine, but some below-par defending allowed Silva to double Brazil’s lead five minutes later.
Off a Coutinho corner, Luiz crashed a header into the bar and, after some head ping pong, Silva got it over the line as Langerak lay sprawled on the turf.
Langerak soon atoned with quality twin saves to deny Souza and Taison, but there was nothing he could do about Taison’s next shot.
Paulinho wriggled free and dinked a delightful backheel for the Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder to slot home, before Langerak saved a would-be Hrustic own goal and Souza headed home a corner to seal the result.
Sometimes you just have to 👏👏👏
Wondrous third goal for Brazil. pic.twitter.com/6Phbc3Lteg
— FOX SPORTS Football (@FOXFOOTBALL) June 13, 2017