Australia's 2014 World Cup: 5 Things We Learned

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Australia's 2014 World Cup: 5 Things We Learned
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Australia was expected to be the Group B punching bag, and three losses from three matches would suggest they met this expectation.

However, what the scoreboard doesn't reflect is that the Socceroos pushed Chile and the Netherlands to their limit in both of their encounters, giving Australia's fans much to be pleased about as they look to build a squad which will underpin their 2015 Asian Cup and 2018 World Cup campaigns. 

Coach Ange Postecoglou took the second-youngest squad to this year's World Cup, meaning that his efforts were always going to be viewed through the prism of "rebuilding." With the results less dire than expected (though the Spain game was a comprehensive loss), there appears cause for cautious optimism.

Here are five takeaways.

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