Ghana's No. 1

Duke gives Australia crucial win over Tunisia

Published on: 26 November 2022

Australia held on to a narrow first-half lead to pick up a crucial victory over Tunisia that keeps alive their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup last 16.

Knowing defeat would mean an early exit from the competition, Graham Arnold's side came out of the blocks full of energy and intent.

Mitchell Duke took advantage of their positive start when he superbly flicked Craig Goodwin's cross into the far corner to put them 1-0 up after 23 minutes.

That sparked an outburst of jubilant celebration from the small contingent of Australia fans behind the goal, which momentarily silenced the hostile and unwavering support for Tunisia.

Hissed and jeered throughout by striking clusters of fans draped in red at the Al Janoub Stadium, Australia held their nerve to claim their first victory at a World Cup since 2010.

They survived a desperate onslaught from Tunisia in the second half, with Youssef Msakni forcing goalkeeper Mathew Ryan into a save at his near post, though that came moments after Mathew Leckie had come inches away from connecting with Goodwin's cross at the other end.

Stoke City defender Harry Souttar put in a superb performance, making several key blocks and tackles as Australia dug in.

Australia, who suffered a humbling defeat by France in their opening match, will take on tough opponents Denmark next - but with qualification in their own hands.

    Live: Tunisia 0-1 Australia - reaction

Significant victory for delighted Aussies

This was a crucial match for both nations given they face competition from defending world champions France and Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark to progress from Group D.

It could not have been a better start for Australia then, as they dominated the opening 15 minutes to leave Tunisia unable to get out of their half.

Goodwin's crosses from the left were initially dealt with, but the ease with which Australia were getting joy down that side will have caused concern for Tunisia.

Eventually, one of those crosses paid off as Duke expertly flicked Goodwin's delivery into the far corner and ran over to the touchline to receive a clamour of pats on the head from his team-mates.

That goal did little to silence the overwhelming majority of Tunisia fans in the Al Janoub Stadium, though, and it was their side who ended the first half stronger with two big opportunities to equalise.

Australia centre-back Souttar made a crucial, sliding block to deny Mohamed Drager, just minutes before Tunisia captain Msakni volleyed an effort inches wide.

Tunisia changed shape in the second half and put Australia under spells of relentless pressure. Aaron Mooy had to make another vital block, before Souttar yet again intervened to stop a dangerous counter-attack.

The anxiety was palpable in the stadium when Tunisia substitute Wahbi Khazri almost poked in a late equaliser, before six added minutes were signalled by the fourth official.

But Australia - who had to come through two play-offs to qualify for the tournament in Qatar - held on for a significant victory and they go into their final group match with all to play for.

Tunisia, who take on France in their final match, are all but out.

    Fifa World Cup: Groups & ScheduleWorld Cup TV Coverage guide

Player of the match

MooyAaron Mooy

with an average of 8.90

    TunisiaTunisiaTunisiaAustraliaAustraliaAustralia

TunisiaAvgSquad number7Player nameMsakniAverage rating

5.84

Squad number16Player nameDahmenAverage rating

5.73

Squad number9Player nameJebaliAverage rating

5.68

Squad number23Player nameSlitiAverage rating

5.64

Squad number20Player nameDrägerAverage rating

5.55

Squad number3Player nameTalbiAverage rating

5.53

Squad number4Player nameMeriahAverage rating

5.50

Squad number24Player nameAbdiAverage rating

5.49

Squad number11Player nameKhenissiAverage rating

5.45

Squad number6Player nameBronnAverage rating

5.42

Squad number10Player nameKhazriAverage rating

5.41

Squad number14Player nameLaïdouniAverage rating

5.35

Squad number17Player nameSkhiriAverage rating

5.28

Squad number13Player nameSassiAverage rating

5.21

Squad number21Player nameKechridaAverage rating

5.07

AustraliaAvgSquad number13Player nameMooyAverage rating

8.90

Squad number1Player nameRyanAverage rating

8.21

Squad number15Player nameDukeAverage rating

8.10

Squad number19Player nameSouttarAverage rating

8.05

Squad number7Player nameLeckieAverage rating

7.85

Squad number23Player nameGoodwinAverage rating

7.83

Squad number16Player nameBehichAverage rating

7.71

Squad number4Player nameRowlesAverage rating

7.50

Squad number22Player nameIrvineAverage rating

7.47

Squad number14Player nameMcGreeAverage rating

7.34

Squad number5Player nameKaracicAverage rating

7.30

Squad number9Player nameMaclarenAverage rating

6.79

Squad number2Player nameDegenekAverage rating

6.74

Squad number10Player nameHrusticAverage rating

6.72

Squad number26Player nameBaccusAverage rating

6.48

Squad number11Player nameMabilAverage rating

6.10

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsTunisia

Formation 3-4-2-1

16Dahmen6Bronn4Meriah3Talbi20Dräger17Skhiri14Laïdouni24Abdi23Sliti7Msakni9Jebali

    16Dahmen6BronnSubstituted forKechridaat 73'minutes4Meriah3Talbi20DrägerSubstituted forSassiat 45'minutesBooked at 90mins17Skhiri14LaïdouniBooked at 26minsSubstituted forKhazriat 67'minutes24AbdiBooked at 64mins23Sliti7Msakni9JebaliSubstituted forKhenissiat 73'minutes

Substitutes

    1Mathlouthi2Ifa5Ghandri8Mejbri10Khazri11Khenissi12Maâloul13Sassi15Ben Romdhane18Chaalali19Jaziri21Kechrida22Ben Saïd25Ben Slimane26Hassen

Australia

Formation 4-4-2

1Ryan5Karacic19Souttar4Rowles16Behich7Leckie22Irvine13Mooy23Goodwin15Duke14McGree

    1Ryan5KaracicSubstituted forDegenekat 75'minutes19Souttar4Rowles16Behich7LeckieSubstituted forBaccusat 85'minutes22Irvine13Mooy23GoodwinSubstituted forMabilat 85'minutes15DukeSubstituted forMaclarenat 64'minutes14McGreeSubstituted forHrusticat 64'minutes

Substitutes

    2Degenek6Tilio8Wright9Maclaren10Hrustic11Mabil12Redmayne17Devlin18Vukovic20Deng21Kuol24King25Cummings26Baccus

Referee:Daniel SiebertAttendance:41,823Match StatsHome TeamTunisiaAway TeamAustraliaPossessionHome58%Away42%ShotsHome14Away9Shots on TargetHome4Away2CornersHome5Away2FoulsHome16Away15Live Text Post update

Match ends, Tunisia 0, Australia 1.

90'+7'Full Time

Second Half ends, Tunisia 0, Australia 1.

90'+3'Booking

Ferjani Sassi (Tunisia) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

90'+2'Post update

Hand ball by Ferjani Sassi (Tunisia).

90'+2'Post update

Attempt blocked. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

90'+1'Post update

Foul by Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia).

90'+1'Post update

Milos Degenek (Australia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89'Post update

Foul by Montassar Talbi (Tunisia).

89'Post update

Milos Degenek (Australia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

88'Post update

Attempt saved. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Wajdi Kechrida.

87'Post update

Attempt blocked. Naïm Sliti (Tunisia) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Taha Yassine Khenissi.

86'Post update

Attempt blocked. Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

85'Substitution

Substitution, Australia. Keanu Baccus replaces Mathew Leckie.

85'Substitution

Substitution, Australia. Awer Mabil replaces Craig Goodwin.

84'Post update

Attempt saved. Montassar Talbi (Tunisia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

83'Post update

Foul by Ali Abdi (Tunisia).

83'Post update

Ajdin Hrustic (Australia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

82'Post update

Corner, Tunisia. Conceded by Harry Souttar.

76'Post update

Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

76'Post update

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Australia).

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