Australia 1-0 Denmark: Match report, player ratings, fan reaction & expert analysis

Melbourne City’s 31-year-old experienced winger Mathew Leckie scored the only goal at Al Janoub Stadium that sees one of the real dark horses of the tournament crash out of the World Cup

Australia’s Cinderella story at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is set to continue into the next round after the Socceroos earned another surprise result after their 1-0 win over heralded dark horse side Denmark at Al Janoub Stadium.

Veteran winger Mathew Leckie scored the only goal of the match but it was more than enough to help his country secure two World Cup wins in the same tournament for the first time in its history, while also advancing into the round of 16 for just the second time, with the first coming back in 2006 in Germany.

It was an unexpected campaign this winter after Graham Arnold’s men had to rely on a penalty shootout win in their qualification playoff final against Peru to advance into the group stage, with few - if any - giving them hope or a prayer to come out of a group featuring holding champions France and recent European Championship semi-finalist Denmark, who shockingly finished the tournament at the bottom of Group D and displaying some of the most disappointing football in Qatar.

For Australia, it’s a momentous moment for the nation who can also stick their chests out going into the round of 1 after also defeating Tunisia in match day two of group play, reversing the unfavorable math in the wake of their opening loss to France given the historical marker it typically signifies.

Despite Denmark having the lion’s share of possession and crafting more chances than Australia, much of the attacking moves that the Danes managed to muster were meat and drink for the Socceroo’s back line who rarely felt truly threatened over the course of ninety minutes.

With a date in the next round coming by way of the winner of Group C - one of Argentina, Poland, Saudi Arabia, or Mexico - there could be another chapter in one of the fairytale moments of the tournament.

Australia player ratings

  • Matt Ryan (GK): 7
  • Milos Degenek (RB): 7
  • Harry Souttar (CB): 7
  • Kye Rowles (CB): 7
  • Aziz Behich (LB): 7
  • Mathew Leckie (RM): 7.5
  • Jackson Irvine (CM): 7
  • Aaron Mooy (CM): 7
  • Craig Goodwin (LM): 6
  • Mitchell Duke (CF): 7
  • Riley McGree (CF): 7
  • Keanu Baccus (Sub): 6.5
  • Bailey Wright (Sub): 6
  • Jamie Maclaren (Sub): 6
  • Ajdin Hrustic (Sub): 6

Denmark player ratings

  • Kasper Schmeichel (GK): 6.5
  • Rasmus Kristensen (RB): 6.5
  • Joachim Andersen (CB): 6
  • Andreas Christensen (CB): 6.5
  • Joakim Mæhle (LB): 6
  • Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (DM): 6.5
  • Mathias Jensen (CM): 7
  • Christian Eriksen (CM): 6
  • Andreas Skov Olsen (RW): 6
  • Jesper Lindstrom (LW): 6
  • Martin Braithwaite (CF): 6
  • Alexander Bah (Sub): 7
  • Kasper Dolberg (Sub): 6
  • Mikkel Damsgaard (Sub): 6
  • Robert Skov (Sub): 6
  • Andreas Cornelius (Sub): 6

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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