PIC SPECIAL: Japan v Australia

Postecoglou's team selections came under fire on social media, with Robbie Kruse's deployment up front coming as a surprise.

Bournemouth's Brad Smith was started on the left side despite limited game-time at club level, drawing criticism.

The Australia boss, who lost Aaron Mooy to illness pre-game, acknowledged his side were never in control against the Blue Samurai and took the blame for the loss.

"The team we put out there was certainly good enough to get the job done," Postecoglou told Fox Sports.

"I'll take responsiblity for team selection and the way we played.

"Tonight's result is on me, not the players or the ones who are missing.

"We didnt have the night we wanted to."

Postecoglou appears despondent post-game and paused momentarily with a shrug when asked if he was still confident Australia would qualify for Russia automatically.

"...At the moment I'm just disappointed about tonight, the rest of it is secondary," he said.

Australia sits third in the group, level on points with Saudi Arabia, but two goals behind on goal difference.

The Socceroos host Thailand in Melbourne in the final game, while Saudi Arabia are at home to the already qualified Japan, with a later kick-off time allowing them the knowledge of the equation to clinch second spot.

"We've got to play well first," Postecoglou said.

"Being at home will make a difference. We've got to win.

"Unfortunately we've got to rely on another result.

"We'll see what happens. We'll do our job and see what happens."

Speaking about the performance against Japan, he added: "It's a bit hard to sum it up right now because obviously we're disappointed with the outcome.

"We had our moments but we just never really got control of the game, particularly our midfield.

"We had some possession but we didn't really threaten as much as we could have.

"The first goal really killed us. Obviously disappointed."

PIC SPECIAL: Japan v Australia