Australia se mete en octavos y elimina a Dinamarca (1-0) / Australia upsets Denmark as stunning Socceroos reach last 16

Doha (EFE).- Un gol Mathew Leckie en el tercer y último partido del grupo D del Mundial de fútbol de Qatar 2022 disputado este miércoles en el estadio Al Janoub de Al Wakra dio el triunfo a Australia sobre Dinamarca (1-0), y con ello el pase a octavos de final para los australianos.

Dinamarca quedó eliminada y Australia pasa como segunda de un grupo que encabezó Francia.

Pero fue en el minuto 15 de la segunda parte cuando Mathew Leckie, uno de los veteranos, abrió el marcador. Con un golazo; al culminar un rápido contraataque con una brillante jugada personal -tras recibir un gran pase de McGree saliendo desde su propio campo- en la que, tras dos recortes y después de que el balón cruzado diese en el poste, batió a Schmeichel.

Un gol de Leckie que ha sido decisivo para Australia, que con un empate habría quedado eliminada.

Leckie de 31 años y que juega en el Melbourne City, dio el triunfo a los australianos que este miércoles en el estadio Al Janoub de Al Wakra igualaron, en su sexta participación, la mejor de sus comparecencias en un Mundial; la que consiguieron en Alemania 2006. En esa ocasión también pasaron segundos de grupo -primera fue Brasil- antes de caer por la mínima ante Italia, que, a la postre, acabaría ganando el torneo.

Esta vez lo hizo asimismo con un resultado de cada color, y pasó segunda en el grupo que lideró Francia, derrotada en el tercer partido por Túnez. Y ahora espera rival, que será el primero del grupo C, que se resolverá más tarde este miércoles y que podría ser Polonia, Argentina o Arabia Saudí (México, como mucho, podría ser segunda).

Con esta victoria, Australia se clasifica, gracias al gol de Mathew Leckie, por segunda vez para disputar los octavos de final de un Mundial de fútbol, después de derrotar a Dinamarca que queda eliminada. La selección australiana pasa segunda en la fase de grupos, por detrás de Francia.

Australia upsets Denmark as stunning Socceroos reach last 16

Australia beat Denmark to pull off a huge upset as the Socceroos advanced from Group D and are in the last 16 of the World Cup for just the second time in their history.

Matthew Leckie was the hero for Australia as he struck in the second half, just moments after Tunisia had taken the lead against France in the other Group D game which mean that Australia were out of the World Cup. For about two minutes they were, but then Leckie did the business.

For Denmark this was an extremely disappointing World Cup as the team ranked No. 10 in the world scored just once and picked up just one point from their three group stage games.

Australia’s boss Graham Arnold and his players celebrated wildly at the final whistle as they were one of the rank outsiders at this tournament but back-to-back 1-0 wins against Tunisia and Denmark put them into the knockout rounds.

Aussie defense dominant as Socceroos spring into last 16
It wasn’t pretty, at all, but boy was it effective. Australia’s back-to-back shutout victories propelled them into the last 16 of the World Cup for just the second time in their history and Graham Arnold was delighted with the grit and organization of his team. Australia have players on the break like Leckie and McGree who can hurt you and the quality of Mooy in midfield allows them to keep the ball and take the pressure off when needed. Ryan in goal has been excellent, while Souttar stood tall in a brilliant back four display as the stat below shows how resilient they’ve been. Australia will be tough opponents in the knockout rounds and nobody expected the No. 38 ranked team in the world to get out of the group stage. They’re now playing with house money which makes them even more dangerous.

Stars of the show

Matthew Leckie: Scored the winning goal with the main piece of quality shown throughout the game by both teams. What a moment in Australia soccer history.

Harry Souttar: Another dominant display from the center back and he’s having a wonderful tournament to lead the stubborn Aussie defense.

Key storylines, players to watch closely

Australia will set up exactly the same as they did against Tunisia as they will whip in balls to Mitchell Duke who was the hero with his superb flicked header. Both Duke and Arnold pointed to the ‘Aussie Spirit’ getting them the win against Tunisia and there is a real grit and determination about this team.

Denmark know they have to win, so they will go for a more attack-minded lineup and they have the quality to beat Australia. They start Braithwaite in attack as they try to get something going offensively and this is basically a knockout game in the group stage.

Australia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 38
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified from AFC via the intercontinental playoffs
Coach: Graham Arnold
Key players: Mathew Ryan, Aaron Mooy, Mathew Leckie

Denmark quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 10
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group F)
Coach: Kasper Hjulmand
Key players: Kasper Schmeichel, Simon Kjaer, Christian Eriksen

By Joe Prince-Wright

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