Viduka, Cahill and company made history at the 2006 World Cup for Australia, which qualified for the round of 16 for the first time, and from this Wednesday Australian rules football has a new hero: Mathew Leckie. The 31-year-old Melbourne City player was the author of the great goal that eliminated Denmark, the only one of the match (1-0), and put the Aussies in the World Cup qualifiers in Qatar.
The Danes, who needed to win to have a chance, took to the pitch trying to find peace on the scoreboard, looking for a goal that would take them away from a totally unexpected elimination, the second in a World Cup group stage. A disappointment with capital letters for a team that had even allowed themselves to dream of the title in Doha after their good performance in the last Euro Cup, lost in the semifinals.
Denmark says goodbye with only one goal in their locker, unsuccessful by Barca Christensen against France, and after a game where they were forgetting their script until they panicked when the electronic was against. Better technically than the oceanic team, they began the match triangulating on several occasions near the rival area, especially choosing Lindstrom's runs on the left. However, it was Jensen, with a powerful shot from the right, who put goalkeeper Ryan in trouble in the first half.
The sensations were good for the Scandinavians in the first half hour, with Eriksen distributing play and Braithwaite, starting for the first time, useful in downloads. But the good work of Kasper Hjulmand's pupils fell apart like a sugar cube when the ball reached the area, where the socceroos became strong, the central defenders Souttar and Rowles impregnable.
The Australian wall was diminishing the optimism and soccer of a dwindling Denmark that was giving ground. Graham Arnold's men closed in on Schmeichel's surroundings, albeit roughly and imprecisely before the break. Australia, physically superior, seasoned in all areas of the field, was increasingly comfortable, the Nordics handcuffed.
After the restart, the Europeans went with more conviction towards the goal. They added more troops and in turn left more space behind, a scenario that Australia immediately took advantage of. There was bad news for the Aussies from the other game, eliminated in the 60th minute with Tunisia's goal against France, and the reaction was brilliant just a few seconds later.
The Danes crashed against the yellow swarm again, the occasion vanishing for the umpteenth time in the last meters, and Mcgree took the opportunity to launch the counter with a vertical pass to Leckie, who with a solo run of several tens of meters brought ecstasy to the numerous ocean fans. The winger planted himself in the area against the opposition of Andersen and Maehle, who he faked with a dribble on the right and finished dizzying on the left before unleashing a shot crossed between his legs that surpassed Schmeichel's stretch.
The Danish response, with less than half an hour to go, was to accumulate attacking players with the entry of Dolberg, Damsgaard, Cornelius and Skov. Victims of pressure and nervousness in the final stretch, they threw away the scoreboard and bombarded the rival area with constant crosses, a situation where the Australians also prevailed, barely conceding a clear chance. Only Dolberg in added time, when there was only time to scratch a draw without a prize, made Ryan appear to deflect a spur shot. It was a want and I can not before an Australia that in its sixth participation in a World Cup becomes the first team classified against forecast for eighth.
Australia: Ryan, Degenek, Souttar, Rowles, Behich; Leckie (Hrustic, m.88), Irvine, Mooy, Goodwin (Baccus, m.46); Duke (MacLaren, m.82) y McGree (Wright, 74).
Denmark: Schmeichel; Kristensen (Bah, m.46), Andersen, A. Christensen, Maehle (Cornelius, m.69), Hojbjerg, Jensen (m.59 Damsgaard9, Skov Olsen (R. Skov, m.69), Eriksen, Lindstrom; y Braithwaite (Dolberg, m.59).
Gol: 1-0, m.60: Leckie.
Referee: Mustafa Gorbal (Algeria). Shown yellow card to Dane R. Skov (m.75)
Incidents: match corresponding to the third and final day of group D played at the Al Janoub stadium in Al Wakrah before 41,232 fans.