While some things change - a golden generation long gone, three World Cup campaigns now distant memories - some things stay the same.

At the same stage that Graham Arnold's men were infamously dumped from the Asian Cup in 2007, they now depart against the UAE. On the balance of a tournament that was often hard to watch for Socceroos fans, it's little less than they deserve.

Ali Ahmed Mabkhout scored the matches' only goal, benefitting from a lapse back-pass from Milos Degenek, rounding a stranded Maty Ryan and tucking into the back of the net.

The Socceroos dominated, to possibly the greatest extent they had any match this tournament, bar the 3-0 win over Palestine.

As the days go by and the initial anger turns to a calmer analysis of what transpired, Graham Arnold's men could call themselves unlucky - their distinct physicality and quick ball movement allowed them to control the match, but once again, clear-cut chances were few and far between.

Apo Giannou had a goal adjudged offside due to Mat Leckie's run in the build up, but to their credit, United Arab Emirates offered their most composed display of the tournament. Mabkout had an additional guilt-edged chance in the first half, which on the balance of play, goes down as the second best chance of the game for either side.

"Obviously it's extraordinarily tough to take and hard to wrap your emotions around it so quickly after the game," Jackson Irvine said.

"We could have created more, made more use of the ball when we had it, but it was down to one moment.

"We win as a team, we lose as a team. There will be tough moments for every player and we have to deal with the criticism that will come and that's part of it.

"I told Degenek to get on his feet and keep him head up. He's been one of our most promising players, he's got a huge career ahead of him and, while I haven't seen the incident, I think he's too honest for his own good."