Mathew Leckie gave Australia a 1-0 victory over Denmark in their crucial Group D World Cup match, sending the delirious Socceroos through to the last 16 and the Danes crashing out.
Denmark needed to win the match at the Al Janoub Stadium on November 30th to progress, but their early pressure was frustrated by a resolute Australian defence. Australia grew in confidence as the first half progressed and mounted several count erattacks , but the game remained goalless at half time.
A moment of magic from Leckie broke the deadlock on the hour mark. As Denmark pushed men forward, Australia broke and a through ball found Leckie in acres of space on the left. He weaved his way past Danish full-back Joakim Maehle one way, then the other, before passing the ball past Kasper Schmeichel and into the far corner.
“I’m proud, exhausted, everything really. It’s hard to describe the emotions right now,” Leckie told Australian broadcaster SBS after the game. “We always knew we could do it as a group. We had our doubters but our spirit, our belief, our work ethic and how close we are as a group shows on the pitch. The last 15, 20 minutes, we battled until Mathew Leckie the end,” he said.