World Cup Group D: Australia bounce back with crucial win over Tunisia

Issam Jebali of Tunisia competes with Harry Souttar of Australia during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group D match. (Photo by Juan Luis Diaz/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Issam Jebali of Tunisia competes with Harry Souttar of Australia during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group D match. (Photo by Juan Luis Diaz/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
World Cup
TOPSHOT – Tunisia’s goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen reacts as Australia forward Mitchell Duke (2nd left scores Australia’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images) /

Matchday 2 of the World Cup started Friday and has already given us some great matches. Iran beat Wales 2-0, Senegal looked impressive in their 3-1 win over host nation Qatar, Netherlands and Ecuador played to a thrilling 1-1 draw, and the United States and England settled for a goalless tie.

Today the matches continued with Group C and Group D taking center stage at the World Cup with the Group D match featuring Tunisia and Australia kicking things off.

Tunisia came into this match looking to build on their opening 0-0 draw with Denmark, while Australia needed to get a positive result after losing 4-1 to 2018 World Cup champions France on Tuesday. Australia knew if they lost this game and France won this afternoon against Denmark, they would be eliminated.

Australia gets much-needed win in Matchday 2 of World Cup action

For the first quarter of an hour, the match started as a stalemate with neither side finding a way to dictate the game.

But in the 23rd minute, and for the second straight game, Australia was able to grab an early lead. Australia attacked Tunisia on the counter attack and Craig Goodwin raced down the left side of the field. The left midfielder then crossed the ball into the box, which was deflected, but still found its way to Mitchell Duke, who had a glancing header that beat Tunisia’s goalkeeper.

The next best chance of the match came in the 40th minute and it was Tunisia’s best chance of the first half to level the scoreline. Tunisia worked the ball in Australia’s box and got a high quality scoring opportunity. Mohamed Drager released a shot, but it did not make it to Australia’s goal as Harry Souttar blocked the shot for a corner. This allowed Australia to enter the locker room at halftime with a 1-0 lead.

Tunisia started the second half looking to equalize and had the better of the chances. They put Australia’s defense under significant pressure but the Aussie defenders were up to the task. During that time, Australia did have some chances but they were few and far between.

Australia’s defenders did a fantastic job of blocking shots and clearing balls for most of the second half and goalkeeper Mathew Ryan was strong when relied upon.

Australia continued their impressive team defending and were able to hang on the rest of the game to secure the 1-0 victory and all three points.

Still plenty to play for in Group D

Both of these teams will still have a chance of making the round of sixteen going into their third match of group play. These sides will know exactly what they need to do to advance after France and Denmark face off later today.

As of right now, Australia is in a much better position to qualify as they sit tied atop the group standings with France as both teams have three points but France has only played one game. On the other hand, Tunisia’s chances to advance have just got much smaller as they have one point from two games and will face a must-win against France on Matchday 3.

Next. Senegal impress with 3-1 win over Qatar. dark

These countries will play their final group stage matches on Wednesday (10:00 a.m. eastern time). Tunisia will take on France, while Australia will face Denmark.