Australia leap into round of 16

Underestimated by most to make it out of Group D, Australia pulled off a feat of defeating Denmark 1-0 to secure their place in the World Cup Round of 16 in Qatar on Wednesday , in Al-Wakrah.

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Few people expected these surprising “Socceroos”. Australia had reached the knockout phase only once, in 2006. Their qualification was more convincing than in Germany, with two wins and six points, which puts them just behind France.

The Danes tried everything, dominating in possession with 69% of the ball, but only three of their 13 strikes reached the net defended by Mathew Ryan.

It was on a counter-attack that the Australians opened the scoring. Riley McGree found forward Mathew Leckie with a through pass. The Melbourne player traveled about thirty meters with the ball before passing a cup of coffee to the defender. His shot into the bottom left corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s cage barely made its way.

“I’m so proud of the guys. Their effort was incredible. I have to pinch myself, said coach Graham Arnold in a press briefing. Four and a half years of work came to fruition today [mercredi]. I looked into the eyes of my players this afternoon and I knew everything would be fine.

“Now no party, no emotion, no social media. Sleep, ”he told his men, who will face the best team in Group C.

Not the level

This is obviously a disappointment for Denmark, which had reached the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup and which had given France a lot of trouble in 2022.

Coach Kasper Hjulmand was not satisfied with the work of his troop, which simply did not have the required level Wednesday, according to him.

“We didn’t play at our own pace. I think we started quite well tonight and then the team came out of the game. It was the only thing not to do against Australia in a match like this: to go there with a lot of emotion and anger. We had to play with our qualities. One thing is certain, it is that we did not play at our level”, he lamented.

In Russia, the Australians had also hooked the Danes to snatch a 1-1 draw from them. The Scandinavian country has won only two World Cup victories since 2010.

journaldemontreal Fr Sport

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