HomeUKTunisia v Australia: World Cup 2022 – live

Tunisia v Australia: World Cup 2022 – live

Key events

79 mins: Tunisia try route one, but it’s meat and drink for a side schooled in Fitba corner. Souttar wins the aerial battle then Mooy mops up on the ground and sets up some nice ball retention. Everything is starting to get a bit leggy and stretched but Tunisia continue to offer little imagination or wit.

77 mins: Australia shift the ball around nicely in midfield. Mooy and Irvine have linked well all night, and Goodwin and Behich have always offered an outlet on the left. Leckie tries to keep the move alive but in his desperation he feels the effect of cramp and goes to ground clutching his toes before the trainer comes on with some pickle juice.

75 mins: Dangerous cross from the right from Tunisia that Rowles can only flick on to Msakni, hit he can’t react quickly enough to divert an effort on target.

Degenek on for Karacic for Australia at right fullback.

73 mins: Mooy flashes a half-volley just over the angle of post and bar.

More changes for Tunisia with Bronn and Jebali replaced by Taha Khenissi and Wajdi Kechrida.

71 mins: Australia inches away from a second! Behich does well winning possession then finding Goodwin, who helps the ball onto Maclaren in the channel. His cross flies across the face of goal but the onrushing Leckie can’t execute his slide in time.

Tunisia go down the other end and Msakni draws a sharp save from Ryan at his near post. The ball isn’t cleared fully and another effort arrives from range but straight into Ryan’s breadbasket.

70 mins: Maclaren’s first touch is a cheap turnover, but Hrustic’s is a lovely piece of skill to get behind the Tunisian defence, but he is obstructed and unlucky not to be awarded a free-kick. Tunisia are now the side dominating possession, but it’s slow ball with plenty of sideways passes and Australia’s defence alert to step up whenever anything is played vertically.

68 mins: Now it is time for Tunisia’s No 10, Wahbi Khazri. He gets the final quarter, replacing Aïssa Laïdouni.

67 mins: Tunisia link a series of passes neatly through the lines and a cute backheel fashions a shooting opportunity for Msakni but his effort is blocked by a forest of bodies in the box. Abdi then tries to slide in Jebali but Souttar is too strong.

65 mins: Ali Abdi has his name taken for pulling back Irvine with Australia threatening to break from midfield.

64 mins: Jamie Maclaren and Ajdin Hrustic come on for the Socceroos. Mitch Duke and Riley McGree make way. Both put in committed shifts and can be proud of their efforts.

63 mins: I wonder why Wahbi Khazri hasn’t seen any action yet? I think plenty of Tunisians are asking the same question.

62 mins: Awful from Sassi the sub. Tunisia shift the ball quickly into the final third but Sassi has no patience to build an attack, instead larruping a wild swipe from distance miles wide.

60 mins: Nice skill on the left from Msakni but his cross is too close to Ryan who slaps clear. Abdi then tries to feed the ball into the box but Souttar is positioned well to head away.

58 mins: Australia have absorbed Tunisia’s reaction after half-time and settled back into their game. Jalel Kadri needs to shake things up a bit or this result will slide out of his reach.

56 mins: Tunisia now playing the ball neatly in the middle third with Australia dropping off into a low block. Still the Socceroos find the turnover, Leckie battles hard to retain possession, Irvine carries the ball forward, Goodwin drills a tempting cross along the six-yard box but there’s nobody on hand to finish.

54 mins: Another free-kick to Tunisia clipped into the box but cleared by Australia. The second balls all falling their way and with it more time in possession.

52 mins: All the second balls seemed to land Australia’s way in the opening half but Tunisia have evened the ledger since the break. The Socceroos are being drawn out of their shape and into some rash challenges. From one, a free-kick results and Ryan has to be out smartly off his line to punch clear. Tunisia continue to push for an equaliser and now they have some momentum in midfield the crowd is back in the game.

50 mins: Superb chasing back from Leckie on the right to help out his fullback and earn a free-kick with Tunisia looking dangerous. Australia take advantage and on the counter McGree is canny to free Goodwin on the left and his cross is dangerous in the box but there’s no navy shirt to put the chance away.

Leckie battles for possession with Abdi. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

49 mins: Tunisia have had more luck with their balls into the channel this half and after prospering down the left they make a move down the right, winning a handy second ball. A corner results but after playing it short it comes to nought. Tunisia look more assured, more composed, and more threatening. Australia in response are showing signs of retreating, which is not what they want to be doing.

47 mins: That substitution will see Tunisia switch from a back five to a flat four and shift an extra body into midfield where Australia dominated. The Eagles of Carthage start brightly and earn a corner on the left but Souttar stoops to head clear, only to land awkwardly and require treatment.

Tunisia have made a change at the break with Dräger, who had taken a couple of knocks, and a booking, replaced by Ferjani Sassi.

The players are out for the second half. Can Australia hold on?

2nd – Mitchell Duke 🇦🇺 is the first player who plays in a second division club to score in #Qatar2022 (he belongs to Fagiano Okayama 🇯🇵 from Japanese J2 League). He has scored the 50th goal of this edition. Outsider. 🦘 pic.twitter.com/hdX6S001B9

— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 26, 2022

This can’t be good.

I became an Australian citizen recently (so yes, am available for selection from the round of 16). Would too like to see the stuff I got given at the citizenship ceremony? Of course you would. pic.twitter.com/hRpr7iybVn

— David Squires (@squires_david) November 26, 2022

Andy asks: “As someone who is Red Green colourblind I’m wondering why Australia aren’t playing in their home colours. It’s very obvious for me to see the difference and most people, I’m sure, prefer to see the home colours.”

I’m pretty sure the policy is to schedule dark v light as much as possible, and with Tunisia the nominal home side and choosing white, Australia have to accommodate.

Australia’s spearhead really put himself about.

Mitchell Duke’s first half by numbers vs. Tunisia:

25 touches
6/8 aerial duels won
3/4 ground duels won
2 shots on target
1 goal

Gives Australia the lead at half-time. 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/RAWp0SkBm6

— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 26, 2022

“How Australia miss the crossing ability of Brett Emerton and Marco Bresciano,” emails Dechlan Brennan. It really has been striking how poor the Socceroos have been from set-pieces so far this World Cup considering it’s their clearest route to goal. They have the personnel in Mooy, Goodwin, and others, but they just haven’t delivered. Even the goal, which I didn’t report at the time, came from a very fortunate deflected cross.

Australia were well organised and committed in that half, but there was little of any quality to shout about. Tunisia were very poor, seemingly expecting to turn up, throw their weight around, and capitalise on Australian errors. Jalel Kadri has his work cut out at the break to convince his team to get the ball down and play through the Socceroos.

Half-time: Tunisia 0-1 Australia

The Socceroos head to the break with a deserved lead after a hard fought, physical opening half. It’s not a spectacle of champagne football, but in tournament play it’s not how, it’s how many.

45 + 3 mins: Tunisia build pressure down the right but Rowles cuts out one cross, and Goodwin the next. Still Tunisia come and from the third crossing attempt Jebali does superbly to whip the ball to the corner of the six-yard box where Mskani rushes onto it but clips his first-time effort just wide of Ryan’s near post.

45 mins: Corner on the right to Australia, Goodwin takes it, an inswinger with his left, but Tunisia head clear and push out quickly enough to force Karacic to hurry the second ball out of play.

44 mins: Finally a decent free-kick delivery for Australia. Deep from Goodwin, swinging in from right to left, and Duke gets his head to the ball first in the area but can’t get much purchase on it. The Socceroos keep the ball alive though, winning challenge after challenge allowing Mooy to spark another attack that Bronn makes a hash of, allowing Karacic the chance to shoot straight at white shirt.

42 mins: Australia clear the resulting corner, then Ryan does brilliantly to leap and claim the second ball from the head of Jebali. He’s probably fortunate to receive a free-kick for his bravery after spilling the ball on crash-landing.

40 mins: When play resumes Australia attack sharply through McGree and Goodwin but Leckie is just unable to latch onto the through-ball. Tunisia go down the other end and fashion their first clear opportunity of the match, but Souttar slides in magnificently to deny Dräger who thought he only had Ryan to beat.

39 mins: A slight delay while Dräger is attended to. Presumably that means 20 minutes of added time.

37 mins: Mooy plays around the corner like Paul Scholes to set up Leckie to turn and run at the Tunisian defence but he’s robbed and Tunisia can counter. With Australia a fraction out of shape Msakni can drive towards the penalty area but his shot is blocked off the boot.

35 mins: Tunisia continue to look out of ideas. They have no confidence playing short passes out of defence and whenever anything longer is attempted Australia’s back four steps up and snuffs out any danger. Someone in a white shirt needs to take the game on.

33 mins: Tunisia are committing repeat fouls, bundling over Australian players all over the park and leaving a foot in here or there on most challenges. From one of these free-kicks the Socceroos earn the first corner of the day on the right, but as is becoming a chronic problem, the delivery is poor and causes no danger despite Irvine’s efforts.

31 mins: Duke and Tunisia substitute Hannibal Mejbri exchange angry words, then a friendly handshake after the Australian wins a free-kick near the dugout.

29 mins: Apart from that one transitional breakaway, Tunisia have offered nothing in attack. Australia are matching them for physicality, winning the majority of second balls and it’s unsettled the Arab Cup finalists. The back four deserves special credit for pushing tight to their direct opponent, denying any easy passes into feet.

27 mins: The goalscorer Duke slides in to make a defensive block and Australia’s bench clears to applaud the endeavour. Australia have the bit between their teeth today.

25 mins: Excellent goal. The first time all night either side have tried to play through the lines and it pays dividends.

Meanwhile, the combative Aïssa Laïdouni is in the book for flattening Goodwin.

GOAL! Tunisia 0-1 Australia (Duke, 23)

This is not especially brave-in-possession modern football. Both teams looking for long diagonal outlets to safeguard territory and minimise risk.

That is until Australia play out from the back, feeding Duke with his back to goal, his delightful touch allows the ball to be sprayed wide to Goodwin and finally a cross finds its target, and it’s that man Duke again to arrive on time to glance a header into the far corner!

Australia bag the opening goal two matches running!

Duke heads in.
Duke heads in. Photograph: Annegret Hilse/Reuters
Duke celebrates with Irvine.
Duke celebrates with Irvine. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
Tunisia and Australia fans show different emotions.
Tunisia and Australia fans show contrasting emotions. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

21 mins: Tunisia finally look to have come to terms with the pace of the game. Australia concede a couple of turnovers inviting their opponents onto them, but Dräger blazes high and wide with time to make a better decision.

19 mins: Tunisia are really struggling with Australia’s mid-block press. Until they slip it with a couple of vertical passes between the lines but Msakni is crowded out inside the box when he looked set to wriggle into a shooting opportunity.

17 mins: Lots of headers, lots of hurried clearances, lots of second balls. It’s all very retro for this state-of-the-art tournament. Lots of players playing like they’re in the shop window for League 1.

15 mins: Behich steps up and plants his knee unnecessarily into the buttocks of Sliti to stymie a possible Australian counterattack. Duke soon picks a Tunisian pocket to set his side back on the front foot but Leckie’s cross is blocked. There are collisions and bodies flying in from all angles. Lots of energy, not heaps of skill.

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