Fall On One's Face Meaning

(idiomatic) To fail, especially in a dramatic or particularly decisive manner.

Example: 1976, "Power Switch Hitters," Time, 3 May:
  Judge Charles R. Richey last week tried to apply some firm rules of law to such indelicate situations. He came close to succeeding, then fell on his face.
1988, Jesus Rangel, "Mob Trial Going to Jury Today in Jersey," New York Times, 25 Aug. (retrieved 5 Aug. 2009):
  But defense lawyers have compared the case to a "trashy novel" in which the Government presented plenty of gossip, hearsay and innuendo but little credible evidence. . . . "I think the Government fell on their face," said Michael Critchley.
2008, Jeff Shaara, The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II, ISBN 9780345461377, p. 44
  [O]thers grumbled, questioning whether this man knew anything about fighting in the desert or was simply a strutting martinet who, once he was confronted with the tactical brilliance of Rommel, would fall on his face like so many before him. Unfortunately, if Montgomery failed, he would no doubt take a good part of the Eighth Army with him.