Australia beat Tunisia 1-0 at the Al Janoub Stadium on Saturday to register their first World Cup victory in 12 years as they provisionally moved up to second in Group D behind reigning champions France.
Striker Mitchell Duke scored midway through the first half with a glancing header past keeper Aymen Dahmen to give Australia the lead, while Tunisia’s best chance came when skipper Youssef Msakni shot just wide. Tunisia brought on the squad’s top scorer Wahbi Khazri in the second half as they upped the tempo in search of an equaliser, but the Australian defense stood firm with goalkeeper and skipper Mat Ryan a calming presence at the back.
The victory snapped Australia’s seven-match winless run at World Cups since they last picked up three points in a victory over Serbia in 2010. France play Denmark in the other Group D encounter later on Saturday.
“No words, such a big moment for my family and the supporters. It is the best feeling in the world, but try not to get too caught up because there is one more game to win and get out of the group. The best moment of my life and my football career, there are no words. Just so happy and proud of the boys. We made so many sacrifices to get here. It is the best feeling in the world. Honestly, I will go to war with these boys. A huge shift by the lads, keeping the clean sheet and getting a result, we fought until the end, everyone gave 110% and that is all you can ask. We showed the Aussie spirit and we got the result, ” Duke said after the match.