Analysis: Caltex Socceroos v Greece in Melbourne

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.

Caltex Socceroos lose to classy Greece in Melbourne

Ange reaction: 'We lost our composure'

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.

Trent Sainsbury fights for the ball during Australia's 2-1 loss to Greece.

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.

Greece stunner.

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.