Australia beat Denmark (1-0) in the last match of Group D of the World Cup in Qatar and managed to match the feat of 2006 by advancing, against all odds, to the round of 16 thanks to a great goal against Leckie that wiped out some ‘Vikings’ who rowed aimlessly.
The oceanic team depended on itself and it did not fail. He was two minutes out of the eighth, when Tunisia provisionally took the lead against Francebut a beautiful so much of Matthew Leckie in the 60th minute an earthquake returned to form in the stands of the Al Janoub Stadium that arrived as a tsunami in Australia.
The ‘Socceroos’ are back, 16 years later, in the round of 16 of a World Cup. They did it in 2006, in what was his second appearance in a World Championship. Now, with a team without big stars and being the ‘Cinderella’, the ‘kangaroos’ jump to the round of 16 to give one of the great surprises of Qatar 2022.
It was Leckie, the left winger of Melbourne City – a team from the Manchester City club conglomerate -, who at 31 years old scored the goal of his life. His career and his dribbles changed the sign of the game and the course of a Denmark that was already lost and that was unable to find the Australian goal. Thus, Graham Arnold’s men will repeat the dream of the round of 16 16 years later.
Denmark started better, with a great chance for Jensen in the 11th minute that Matthew Ryan annulled. At minute 18, the exporter from Valencia or Real Sociedad again deflected a dangerous cross from Joakim Maehle. But there the ‘Viking’ ship was lost, unable to reach an Australia further and further away in the green, on the scoreboard and in the group classification.
After the break, at 58′, Tunisia inadvertently activated Australia. It had been two minutes since the ‘aussies’ had seen each other out of the World Cup. Two minutes after Tunisia’s goal against France that brought them out of Qatar 2022. And, as if they knew, the ‘socceroos’ went quickly for the goal. So much so that in those two minutes, Leckie worked the magic.
The winger took advantage of a quick against Australia, after recovering a ball in his own area, to caracole his defender with a cut in and another out to accurately cross the ball and get past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. Great goal that put the ‘aussies’ back in the round of 16.
From there, the Danish coach Kasper Hjulmand revolutionized the team. He brought in the forwards Kasper Dolberg -who scored at 71′ but was offside, and the VAR acted to annul it- and Andreas Cornelius, in addition to modifying the system. There was no way.
Christian Eriksen went from more to less and the light of his headlight went out, just like the classification options for his team. Denmark needed two goals, but the truth is that they did not have any clear opportunity, not even to tie. A Dolberg ‘scorpion’, which arrived limp and mushy in Ryan’s hands, was the highlight. End of ‘Viking’ expedition and new leap of the ‘cangaroos’ towards history.