Al Wakrah, November 30
Australia ended a 16-year wait for a World Cup last-16 stage place as Mathew Leckie’s strike earned them a gritty 1-0 upset win over Denmark in their final Group D match today.
After a goalless first half in which Denmark looked lively and had more possession, Australia scored on the counter in the 60th minute when Leckie got past the Danish defence and twisted into space before slotting the ball home.
Australia finished second with six points, level with group winners France after the world champions lost 1-0 to Tunisia. Denmark were bottom on one point with Tunisia third on four.
“I’m proud, exhausted, everything really. It’s hard to describe the emotions right now,” Leckie told Australian broadcaster SBS.
Heartbreak for Tunisia
An energetic and determined Tunisia claimed a famous victory over a France team made up mostly of back-up players today, but their 1-0 win over the reigning champions was not enough for the North Africans to progress to the knockouts stages.
They departed the tournament with “honour and pride”, coach Jalel Kadri said. But despite their defeat of one of the tournament favourites, their fate was ultimately not in their hands.
Tunisia needed not only to beat the already-qualified France but to hope for Denmark to avoid defeat against Australia. — Reuters
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