Australia beats Tunisia at World Cup Group D

Australian coach Graham Arnold

Graham Arnold, head coach of Australia, reacts before the Group D match between Tunisia and Australia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Nov. 26, 2022. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

Mitchell Duke’s lone brilliant header helped Australia beat Tunisia 1-0 in FIFA 2022 World Cup Group D here on Saturday.

Returned to Al Janoub Stadium after the 4-1 defeat against defending champion France, the Socceroos intensified their attacks with three forwards at the very beginning of the match. In the 23rd minute, Duke scored the lone goal into the far corner with a close-range header.

The goal, thanks to Craig Goodwin’s deflected cross, also marked the 50th of the 2022 World Cup.

The tall striker dedicated the scoring to his son, six-year-old Jaxson, with a “J” hand gesture when running towards the crowd during the celebration.

Duke’s two children stayed out in Doha to support their dad while he served his country during the World Cup.

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After a goalless draw against Denmark earlier this week, Tunisia pinned its hope of qualifying for the knockout stage on the match. Mohamed Drager unleashed a shot from the box in the 41st minute but was blocked by opposing defender Thomas Deng.

Seven minutes later, Youssef Msakni’s right-footed shot from the center of the box flew out a little bit to the right, missing their best chance in the first half.

Tunisia, in the second half, build up their confidence by switching their formation and was close to an equalizer through attempts from Ferjani Sassi and captain Msakni in the 61st and 71st minutes.

Australia, who has lost 11 out of 17 games at the World Cup, managed to end their longest seven-game winless streak in the tournament, while the north Africans were at the stake of being eliminated at the group stage.

In the last group match on Wednesday, Tunisia will play France at the Education City Stadium, while Australia stays at Al Janoub Stadium to meet Denmark.

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