Australia on the rise! Mathew Leckie's heroic goal sends Socceroos to the World Cup knockouts as Denmark dumped out

Leckie Eriksen Australia Denmark GFXGetty/GOAL
  • Australia beat Denmark on Wednesday
  • Mathew Leckie scores winner
  • Socceroos finish second in group

TELL ME MORE: Australia sealed second place in Group D at the World Cup 2022 by beating Denmark thanks to a second-half goal from Leckie. The Danes had the better of the first half but had few sights of goal and went in at the break without managing to find a breakthrough. Australia made a change at half-time, replacing Craig Goodwin with Keanu Baccus, and were much improved in the second 45 minutes.

As news filtered through the stadium that Tunisia had taken a shock lead against France in the group's other game, which meant Australia had to win, the Socceroos hit Denmark on a quick break, with Leckie scoring a fine goal to seal a vital three points.

THE MVP: Australia's Leckie will take all the headlines after scoring a brilliant winner on the hour mark. The forward showed great pace and timed his run well to latch onto a through ball. Leckie then turned Joakim Maehle inside out before dispatching a low shot across goal and past the despairing dive of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. It's Leckie's 14th goal for the national team and one of his most important too, guaranteeing the Socceroos a place in the knockout stages.

THE BIG LOSER: Denmark needed to beat Australia to progress but drew a blank in a flimsy display. The Danes needed their attackers to show their worth but there was very little quality on offer up front. Andreas Skov Olsen had one shot saved and that was about as good as it got from the striker. It was no surprise to see him replaced on 70 minutes after an utterly toothless outing. Skov Olsen wasn't the only Denmark player to disappoint by any means but this was a game where his team needed goals and he simply never looked like scoring.


Matthew Leckie World Cup 2022GettyChristian EriksenGettyAustralia World Cup 2022Getty





WHAT NEXT? Australia will play the winners of Group C in the last 16. Poland top the group ahead of the final round of fixtures but Argentina and Saudi Arabia can also still finish first.