Even the most ardent of Socceroos fans feared a possible blow out against Les Blues.
But in the end, the 2-1 victory to France in Kazan flattered Didier Deschamps’ men.
Technology played in part in both French goals, Antoine Griezmann’s 58th minute opener and Paul Pogba’s - VAR for the first, goal-line cameras for the second.
An exasperated Ryan, who produced yet another impeccable performance, questioned just how clear cut the VAR call was on the incident which saw Josh Risdon penalised for clipping Griezmann, with Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha at first waving away French appeals before changing his mind and racing over to the pitch side monitor to view the incident and then point to the spot.
“Speaking to Josh afterwards, he said he touched the ball and I don’t think he’s a liar,” added Ryan. “And the replays I have seen didn’t look conclusive.
“Technology was meant to eradicate clear-cut errors but there’s still a grey area.
“What’s conclusive and what’s not? I’m looking for a better explanation but I don’t want to take anything away from the game and that beautiful game that it is and what we have done today.
“We gave it everything we had and it’s hard to digest that we didn’t take something from it.”
The luckless Risdon concurred with Ryan, insisting: “I thought I got the first touch on the ball. It might have been a little touch but I definitely felt like I clipped the ball.
“I haven’t seen the replays yet but I think he hits my trailing leg running into the box.
“When the referee didn’t give it initially I honestly thought the decision would not be overturned because it wasn’t a clear-cut wrong decision.
“But I just picked myself up and got back into the game.”
Australia were level four minutes later through Mile Jedinak’s spot kick, with technology intervening again with Paul Pogba’s 81st minute toe-poke taking a flick off Aziz Behich, onto the underside of the bar and just a centimetre or so over the line.
“It just crept over but on another day when you don’t have the technology it’s not given.
“We defended so well as a team and if we play again like this again we’ve got a lot to look forward to in hopefully progressing through the group.
“I don’t think any team will take us lightly now.”
Ryan shone with pride at the quality of Australia’s performance.
“You look at the strike-force they possess, nearly every one of their players is playing at one of the biggest clubs in the world,” he added.
“But our defence limited their opportunities to pretty much nothing.
“It took a penalty and a deflected goal to beat us.
“There were a couple of dangerous moments and set pieces and maybe one shot from distance and that was pretty much it. Our defense was phenomenal.”
With victory against Denmark now almost a pre-requisite to stay alive in the tournament, Ryan added: “Today we set the benchmark and no doubt we have grown a lot from the performance.
“It’s about becoming a great team now and showing that consistency.
“We gave everything we had and now we have to do the same against Denmark.
“We need to improve in some areas ... maybe maintaining the ball better in crucial moments but I’m proud of the guys.”