Heartbroken but intensely proud, Ange Postecoglou says his Socceroos have set a benchmark that can help them become a feared attacking force in world football.

But that doesn't ease the pain of defeat to the Netherlands and a World Cup campaign ended at the group stage.

"It's a heartbreaker mate," said Postecoglou after the Socceroos mostly dominated the Dutch, but lost 3-2 in a World Cup classic in Porto Alegre.

The defeat, and Chile's subsequent triumph against Spain, consigns Australia to departing Brazil after their final group match against also-ousted Spain on Monday (Tuesday AEST).

Talisman Tim Cahill, who struck an all-time screamer of a goal, will miss that game through suspension.

He copped his second yellow card of the tournament, yet ends his World Cup career after scoring a dazzling volley many were calling the goal of the tournament.

"At home in my garden I score like that every day but this is what's it's all about," Cahill said.

"Football is all about these moments. And what better place to do it that in the home of football in Brazil."

Cahill's mercurial moment came as the unfancied Australians, the lowest-ranked nation in Brazil, almost pulled off one of the great World Cup heists, dominating and leading 2-1 against the team that had thrashed reigning champions Spain 5-1.

"We did everything we needed to do today bar win the game," Postecoglou said after the thriller on Wednesday (Thursday AEST).

"That has got to be our benchmark moving forward."

Postecoglou refused to blame goalkeeper Mat Ryan for a gaffe which gifted the Dutch the match-winning goal; nor Mathew Leckie for failing to nod in a close-range header seconds earlier.

"It's nobody's fault. We win as a team, we lose as a team," he said.

Postecoglou said the inspired display, coming after a tournament-opening 1-3 loss to Chile, evidenced his mission to make the Socceroos a serious player in the world game was on track.

"People were saying we weren't going to score a goal and we would just try and survive," he said.

"In both games we have taken it to the opposition.

"I firmly believe that we have only just started on this journey.

"The goal is to come back in four year's time, that they fear us before we get on the pitch as much as they fear us on the pitch now.

"There is no doubt now both Chile and the Dutch know they have been in a game and respect the way we have gone about our football."

Winning respect is one thing; winning games is another.

"We don't want to come to World Cups as outsiders," Postecoglou said.

"We don't want to come to World Cups defending for our lives.

"This is our third World Cup in a row and our fourth overall. Every time we come here, we should be getting stronger.

"And I don't want to be in this position in four year's time, where people are writing us off."

Dutch coach Louis van Gaal certainly won't be, heaping praise on Postecoglou and the "fanatical" approach of the Australians.

"Australia is a tough game, a tough team to play against, well organised," van Gaal said.

"This coach (Postecoglou) is really good. He allows his team to play an attacking game."