Australia went through to the knockout stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after an impressive 1-0 win over Denmark in their Group D clash. The Socceroos joined hosts France in the Round of 16, finishing level on points with the world champions.
After a heavy defeat to France in their opener, many had written off Australia and their chances of making it out of the group stage. They went on to claim a 1-0 win over Tunisia to set up a showdown against Denmark, one of the best sides in qualification.
Denmark were on top in the first half but failed to trouble Socceroos goalkeeper Matt Ryan. The goalkeeper was only called into action when he prevented Harry Souttar from scoring an own goal in the opening exchanges.
The game came to life in the second half, and Australia executed a perfect counter-attack on the hour mark to go ahead in the game. Matthew Leckie picked up the ball in his half and carried it nearly half the length of the pitch before turning Joakim Maehle inside and out, and slotting his effort into the far corner.
Denmark thought they had a lifeline as Kasper Dolberg went down in the box following a rash challenge, but the assistant’s flag went up in time to save the Socceroos.
Neither side managed to pose any real threats for the rest of the match and Australia picked up maximum points from the game to progress from Group D. The Socceroos finished in second place behind France on goal difference after Les Bleus fell to a shock 0-1 defeat to Tunisia.
Australia have now qualified for the knockout rounds of the FIFA World Cup for the second time in their history and the first time since 2006. Denmark finished bottom of the group with only one point, a disappointing tournament from the Europeans.