Mitchell Duke's instinctive header in the first half gave Australia a huge 1-0 victory over Tunisia on Saturday in the Group D World Cup encounter. The Socceroos held on their lead as Tunisia were unable to capitalize on their chances.
Thus, the Socceroos end their 7-match winless streak in the World Cup and leap to second place in their group momentarily.
As it Happened:
Tunisia were coming off a draw against Denmark while the Socceroos lost their first game against the World Champions France. The atmosphere at the Al Janoub Stadium was electric as both sides knew the importance of a win.
Mitchell Duke drew the first blood for Australia from a deflected cross which came his way. He headed it expertly past Dahmen in Tunisia's goal as the Socceroos took the lead. This was only the 8th goal for the 31-year-old striker in his national colours, and it came at the perfect time for his side as Australia started to assert their authority in the game after the goal. Tunisia came close but Souttar made a terrific block to deny the African side. Australia held on as the teams headed to the break with a slender lead to Australia.
After the break, Tunisia came back as the better side. A few tactical changes saw them piling the pressure on the Socceroos' defense. Wahbi Khazri, and Ali Abdi came close but none of them could get the elusive goal as the Socceroos policed their lead extremely well.
It was Australia who held on to their first-half lead and went home with three massive points.
With this win, Australia are on 3 points after 2 games. Tunisia are currently on 1 point after their couple of matches. Tunisia will be locking horns against World Champions France in their final group stage match on Wednesday and at the same time, Australia will be taking on Denmark.
Tunisia vs Australia Lineup:
Tunisia: Dahmen; Bronn (Kechrida), Meriah, Talbi; Drager (Sasse), Skhiri, Laidouni (Khazri), Abdi; Sliti, Msakni; Jebali (Khenissi)
Australia: Ryan; Behich, Rowles, Souttar, Karacic (Degenek); Mooy, Irvine; Leckie (Mabil), McGree (Hrustic), Goodwin (Baccus); Duke (Maclaren)