Australia beat Tunisia 1-0 in their second match at the World Cup, with Mitchell Duke’s header early in the first half helping the Socceroos keep their hopes of qualifying through the highly competitive clash.
This is Australia’s first World Cup title in 12 years and as a result, they rise to second place in Group D behind defending champions France.
Striker Duke scored midway through the first half with a header gliding past goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen to put Australia ahead, while Tunisia’s best chance came when captain Youssef Msakni shot the ball wide of the post.
The win, just the third for Australia in six World Cup appearances, was the perfect response to Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to France.
Tunisia made their intentions clear from the start, placing five defenders and two midfielders across the pitch and inviting the Australians to try to break them down.
Australia succeeded in sending the ball down the flanks but the last ball into the penalty area rarely came close to a blue shirt as the Tunisian defenders covered the Socceroos forward.
Craig Goodwin’s cross from the left looked like it was going in the same direction until it swerved too sharply from a Tunisia defender and passed to Duke, who headed the ball into the far right corner of the net.
The first goal that Tunisia conceded against any team except Brazil in their last 11 matches and forced Tunisia to leave the defensive shell.
They brought in the team’s top scorer, Wahbi Khazri, in the second half as they ramped up the tempo in search of an equalizer, but the Australian defense stood firm with keeper and captain Mat Ryan calm at the back. .
The win broke Australia’s seven-match winless streak at World Cups since they last picked up three points in a win over Serbia in 2010.