Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou had predicted Greece would be "a good test" for his team before the two-match series and so it proved on Tuesday night, with Australia reminded of what to expect as they look to qualify for a fourth straight World Cup.
After two strong performances - the 2-1 loss to England in Sunderland and Saturday's 1-0 win over Greece in Sydney - the Socceroos struggled to get going at Etihad Stadium.
While the majority of the crowd of 33,622 would have been disappointed watching Australia lose 2-1, it's preferable that the Socceroos put in such a performance during a friendly in June rather than when the third round of World Cup qualifying begins in September.
This is what Postecoglou wants - his team to be challenged and to keep learning as they look to not simply qualify for Russia 2018 but be able to make an impact if they get there.
Speaking to reporters on Monday in Melbourne, Postecoglou had maintained the Socceroos couldn't be considered the finished article yet.
The two-time A-League champion coach insisted that due to the inherent progression in world football, even if Australia were good enough to compete at World Cups now, they would still need to improve over the next two years to keep up.
Greece's tactics were a timely reminder of what the Socceroos can expect from visiting teams when World Cup qualifying resumes, with Iraq to visit Australia on September 1 before Postecoglou and Co. head to United Arab Emirates five days later.
After being generally outplayed in the first friendly in Sydney, Greece looked like they had something to prove - particularly in the first half - with their pressing and counter-attacks causing the hosts a lot of grief.
The visitors' first goal came after Apostolos Vellios snuck up on Mark Milligan in Australia's defensive half and poked the ball away, with Andreas Samaris gathering possession before teeing up Petros Mantalos to score.
It was the ideal counter-attack and with Postecoglou keen for his side to dominate the ball, the Socceroos were again reminded of how vigilant they will have to be in possession during their quest to qualify for Russia 2018.
Greece's second goal was one of the most stunning strikes scored against Australia in recent memory with Ioannis Maniatis lofting the ball over goalkeeper Adam Federici from inside his own half to nestle in the net after one bounce.
While some will criticise Federici for the goal, Postecoglou insisted in his post-match press conference that the AFC Bournemouth gloveman was was standing where he was supposed to.
When the Socceroos did gain territory, Greece were well prepared and sat deep in defence, frustrating the likes of Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic.
The second half was better from Australia with the hosts getting on the scoresheet in the 58th minute when Trent Sainsbury nodded home after Mark Milligan's initial header hit the crossbar.
Tim Cahill almost equalised soon after with a trademark header but a second goal never came.
Having struggled to deal with Greece in Melbourne, expect the Socceroos to be well prepared by Postecoglou for similar tactics when they next gather to play Iraq.
Mark Milligan's moving tribute to Caltex Socceroos debutants
Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng were South Sudanese refugees over a decade ago. Earlier this morning they became Caltex Socceroos. It was an incredible milestone for the two childhood friends, who grew up in Adelaide bonding over the love of football. WRAP: Caltex Socceroos o
Focus shifts to home games in November after Kuwait win
With the first test passed with flying colours, Graham Arnold’s Caltex Socceroos will swiftly turn their focus to November’s home friendlies against Korea Republic and Lebanon. Arnold’s tenure got off to a dream start on Tuesday morning (AEDT) with his side strolling to a 4-0
‘It’s a big dream come true’: Mabil, Deng proud to make Caltex Socceroos debuts
Almost a decade ago they were young kids kicking a ball together at the local park, dreaming of playing professional football. Fast forward nine years and good mates Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng made their Caltex Socceroos debuts together in a thumping 4-0 win over Kuwait.
Arnie’s Caltex Socceroos take shape as attacking stars shine
The Graham Arnold era has gotten off to a flying start, less than three months out from the opening game of the Caltex Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup title defence. Apostolos Giannou, Tom Rogic, debutant Awer Mabil and an own goal were the difference as Australia cruised to a 4-0 wi