January 27, 2023

Australia reached the last 16 of the World Cup for only the second time in their history with a 1-0 win over a disappointing Denmark on Wednesday.

Winger Mathew Leckie scored the winner on the hour with a smart run and finish to end Denmark’s Qatar hopes at the group stage.

Australia, who made the knockout rounds in 2006 when they had Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill and Mark Viduka in their ranks, have now won back-to-back World Cup games for the first time.

They progressed to the knockouts in second place behind holders France in Group D and will play the winners of Group C. Poland are top of that group going into the final round of matches.

This Socceroos do not have the stars of yesteryear but they make up for it with spirit and hard work, and showed flashes of quality in a strangely subdued encounter.

Australia’s substitutes all had their arms around each others’ shoulders for the pre-match national anthem, a sign of the togetherness that had taken them to the brink of the knockouts.

European semi-finalists Denmark, who had to win to stand any chance of going through, were on top in the early stages but could not get any point from the match.

AFP

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