Mitchell Duke was the hero as Australia claimed their first FIFA World Cup win in over 12 years with a hard-fought victory over Tunisia at Al Janoub Stadium.
The forward, who plays his club football for Fagiano Okayama in Japan’s second tier, provided the game’s decisive moment with a brilliant header midway through the first half.
Tunisia, who were roared on by another passionate and highly vocal support, toiled tirelessly in search of an equaliser but often lacked in composure and inspiration in the final third.
Australia defended heroically, too, no-one more so than Harry Souttar. The giant Scotland-born defender earned hugs and high fives from his team-mates late in the first half when he threw himself to block from Mohamed Drager with a goal seemingly inevitable.
Tunisia’s best chances thereafter came when Youssef Msakni fired wide from close range and, later, when Wahbi Khazri shot straight at Mat Ryan during some frantic closing stages.
Stat of the Match
In 17 previous World Cup matches, Australia had never once led at half-time. This match represented a notable first, therefore, and paved the way for the Socceroos to end a seven-match winless run at the global finals.