Australia vs Denmark 1-0: Socceroos Sneak Past Group Stage

Australia reached the World Cup knockouts for the first time since 2006 as they beat Denmark 1-0 in the Group D final six-pointer.

The Socceroos could be happy with a tie as they already had a lead over the Danes coming into the game but were forced to win the moment that Tunisia unexpectedly put their heads ahead against France in the other group match. 

Mathew Leckie’s strike on 60 minutes got the job done for Graham Arnold’s side, who had already showed some really good things in the first match despite being hammered by Les Bleus. Their qualification came as unexpected but it was truly deserved, especially considering that Denmark did little to win today’s game at the Al Janoub Stadium.

After reaching the Euro 2020 Semi-Finals a little more than one year ago, Denmark thus gloomily bowed out of the world stage and will probably need to go through some generational rebuilding. 

The Danes commanded the operations from the get go as expected but their onslaught  lasted only 25 minutes or so. Jesper Lindstrom had the first chance after 10 minutes but failed to connect with the ball from an Andreas Skov Olsen cross. 

Two minutes later, Mathias Jensen called goalkeeper Matthew Ryan to action but the Australia captain, who incidentally plays in the Danish Superliga, denied his shot. Ryan did his job again on 19 minutes, pushing back a Joakim Maehle cross that was turning into a dangerous shot. 

After Skov Olsen failed to find the goal target on 25 minutes, Denmark started to lose their moment and their chances dwindled. Australia controlled their offensives until the break and at half time they could be happy with the score being  still nil-nil.

However, things changed after the restart as Wahbi Khazri gave Tunisia the lead in the matchup against France’s second lines. That would have sent the North Africans to the knockouts. But the Socceroos quickly solved the matter, perhaps not even knowing that Tunisia had taken the lead, as Leckie’s goal came immediately after that. 

The Melbourne City FC winger drilled the ball into the far corner past Kasper Schmeichel with a clinical left foot strike after besting Maehle in the process. It was the most important goal for Australia since Harry Kewell’s final equalizer in their 2006 World Cup match-up against Croatia put them past the group stage for the first time. 

At that point, one would have expected a reaction from Kasper Hjulmand’s side but Denmark just didn’t seem to have it anymore. A barrage of corner kicks did not result in any real threat for Ryan’s goal, who could wait for the full time whistle without suffering any major threat. 



November 30, 2022 – FIFA World Cup Group d

SCORER: 60′ Leckie 

AUSTRALIA (4-4-2): Ryan; Degenek, Rowles, Souttar, Behich; Mooy, Goodwin (46′ Baccus), Irvine, Leckie (89′ Hrustic); Duke (82′ Maclaren), McGree (74′ Wright) (Redmayne, Atkinson, Karacic, Tilio, Mabil, Devlin, Vukovic, Deng, Kuol, King, Cummings) Coach: Arnold
DENMARK (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Kristensen (46′ Bah), Andersen, A. Christensen, Maehle (70′ Cornelius); Hojbjerg, Jensen (59′ Damsgaard); Skov Olsen (70′ Skov), Eriksen; Lindstrom; Braithwaite (59′ Dolberg) (Nelsson, Kjaer, Norgaard, O. Christensen, Stryger Larsen, Wass, Wind, Poulsen, Ronnow) Coach: Hjulmand
REFEREE: Mr. Ghorbal (Algeria)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Behich (A), Degenek (A), Skov (D); Added Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 6′
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