Fantasies of a fairytale run are just that for the Olyroos. Fantasies.
The generational 2-0 defeat of Argentina sparked hopes of survival for Australia in its treacherous group.
But since that victory the very freedom that made it possible has dissipated, a consequence of the rise in expectation.
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This was evident in the first-half against Egypt, as the tentative Olyroos outfit looked a shadow of the side that shocked Argentina just days ago.
Australia only needed a draw to progress to the knockout stage of the Olympics for the first time since 2004, but after Ahmed Rayan put Egypt ahead on the cusp of the half-time, a goal was required.
As a result, the shackles were off. And some of that sorely missed freedom returned.
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Daniel Arzani proved to be an inspired substitution, but even his flair couldn't find the back of the net - although the golden right glove of Egyptian keeper Mohamed Elshenawy had plenty to say.
Amar Hamdi sealed the result for the Pharaohs in the 85th minute, as they climbed from the bottom-rung of the group to secure a quarter-final berth.
For Australia, a case of it'd take a miracle, had quickly become maybe, just maybe, but ended as what could've been.