Australia missed a great opportunity to seal the top spot in Pool B when they where held to a goalless draw by Japan in the Women's World Cup field hockey tournament in Madrid on Monday.
The undefeated Australians needed maximum points to clinch a place in the final four and put as much pressure as possible on their main rivals Argentina.
Australia have 10 points from four matches and should qualify for the semi-finals, with their two main rivals Argentina and South Korea playing later today.
Australia and Argentina meet in the last Pool match on Wednesday.
Japan, meanwhile, came into the game with one point from three matches and needed to improve their position for the ranking games later.
The game started brightly with Australia winning the only corner of the first half after two minutes.
But the Japanese tactics were clear immediately - massed defence, occasional breakaways and giving Australia no room.
In the second half Australia again had one corner which was saved by Rie Terazono.