Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has been thrown a dramatic lifeline after being axed from Australia's final 23-man World Cup squad.
The West Australian was one of four players given the dreaded news by coach Ange Postecoglou at the team's hotel in Vitoria, along with Luke Wilkshire and injured duo Josh Kennedy and Tom Rogic.
But an ongoing injury concern over fellow keeper Mitch Langerak's knee has given Birighitti a reprieve, with Postecoglou asking the 23-year-old Newcastle Jets player to stay on until the opening game against Chile on June 14 (WA time).
Birighitti learnt the news as he was saying his farewells to the rest of the squad over breakfast and preparing to leave for the airport with the other three unlucky players.
Skipper Mile Jedinak and star midfielder Tim Cahill told him he needed to speak to Postecoglou, who asked him to stay on in Brazil.