Australia claim precious three points against Tunisia courtesy of Duke header

Australia claim precious three points against Tunisia courtesy of Duke header
StatsPerform, Profimedia
Australia picked up a massive three points against Tunisia to give themselves a chance of an incredible escape out of their group at the World Cup. Mitchell Duke's header was the difference, as Australia showed such heart and defensive courage to completely shut out a Tunisia side who are all but out of the competition.

13:09 CET: Ok, that's the end of that one. Not a classic, but I don't think anyone expected it to be. Australia were brilliant and got the three points and that's all that matters to them. Check out our match report here.

Moving on now to Poland vs Saudi Arabia. We will be covering that, just as we are covering every game at this World Cup. See you guys there.

13:07 CET: Australia are absolutely ecstatic, and they have every right to be. They worked so hard and gave absolutely everything to claim such a crucial three points. Their first win at a World Cup in over a decade. In the first half they dominated the game, and the goal from Duke was quality. But in the second half, Tunisia were the side who had the ball so Australia had to defend for large portions of that 45 minutes. And they did just that. The way they battled, with that 'over our dead bodies' attitude, was really impressive. Rowles and Souttar were immense in defence, and Mooy was great in midfield. Tunisia threw bodies forward but just couldn't find a way through, and frankly, they didn't come close. They did improve in the second half but they just didn't have enough. 

Tunisia will need a bit of a miracle to qualify now. They play France next, knowing they need a win to even have a chance. Australia have given themselves a real opportunity. Should Denmark not beat the French tonight, then it'll be a winner takes all contest between Australia and Denmark next week. Perfectly poised.

Australia Tunisia stats

Second Half

12:58 CET: That's the full time whistle, and that's a monumentally important win for Australia. They have battled and fought so hard and fully deserve it. Tunisia just couldn't find a way to hurt them. Stay tuned for more thoughts.

12:54 CET: Tunisia are growing frustrated. They just can't find a way through. Four minutes left of the six additional minutes.

12:49 CET: Okay, just as I've said that, Tunisia are going all out attack now. Khazri has a chance in the penalty area but he shoots straight at Ryan in goal. 

12:47 CET: I promise I haven't gone anywhere, but nothing much is happening. Tunisia are trying their best to go forward and are throwing balls into the box, but Rowles and Souttar have been absolutely formidable at the back. Rock, rock solid. Tunisia just can't get past them.

12:46 CET: A double change for Australia. Goodwin and Leckie have been removed, Keanu Baccus and Awer Mabil bought into the action.

12:37 CET: Aussie sub. Karacic off, Milos Degenek on.

12:35 CET: Aaron Mooy's fizzing shot is just over the bar, while Tunisia continue to throw men forward. But they just can't create a really big chance.

12:34 CET: Two subs for Tunisia. Bronn and Jebali are off, Taha Yassine Khenissi and Wajdi Kechrida are on.

12:32 CET: Oh wow, that was so close to being 2-0. Fine margins. Maclaren smashes a low ball across goal, but Leckie is absolutely inches away from getting his toe to it, which would have been a goal.

12:29 CET: Many have been surprised that he hasn't started for Tunisia, but Khazri is now on, with Laidouni coming off. 

12:25 CET: Two subs for Australia, potentially to get more control of the ball again. The goalscorer Duke is subbed off, alongside McGree. Ajdin Hrustic and Jamie Maclaren are their replacements.

12:22 CET: Despite this, there's still nothing of substance coming from Tunisia. Australia are handling everything that is being thrown at them.

12:13 CET: Definitely a more positive approach from Tunisia so far in this half. Looking to get on the front foot.

12:09 CET: This is the first time that Australia have led after 45 minutes in a World Cup match. A different type of pressure for them to deal with now.

12:07 CET: The second half begins. Can Tunisia get back into this contest?

First Half

11:51 CET: That is half time. And Australia absolutely deserve this lead. It hasn't been a thrilling game, but the Aussies have battled hard in front of a Tunisian crowd. They have been the better team and looked good on the ball. Their end product hasn't been all there. but they got it absolutely right with Duke's goal. The striker was positive to get there first and his glancing header was superb. Tunisia on the other hand, have been tame and not really posed much of a threat until the final five minutes of the half. Their counter-attacking approach hasn't paid off so far, so could they make a change in the second half?

Australia Tunisia half time

11:48 CET: Massive chance for Tunisia on the stroke of half time. A cross comes in to Msakni, but his first time shot is put wide, when he really had the whole goal gaping.

11:41 CET: That is a big block from Australia. A pass is played through to Drager who has a clear shot at goal, but his goalbound effort is brilliantly blocked by Rowles. Potentially saved a goal there.

11:34 CET: You know what, it's been a pretty pleasing performance from Australia so far. They've been far better this tournament than I expected. Even though they did lose to France comprehensively, they weren't actually that bad.

11:23 CET: AND AUSTRALIA'S EARLY POSSESSION HAS RESULTED IN A GOAL! DUKE HAS MASTERFULLY HEADED THAT HOME. Goodwin's deflected cross comes to Duke, but he has some work to do still. He then expertly guids it across goal and into the corner of the Tunisian net. They absolutely needed that.

11:22 CET: Tunisia's game plan is clear. Sit back, and counter attack. They've had a few chances to do that so far, but nothing has really come from it yet.

11:12 CET: Australia are actually the side who have asserted some early dominance. They are keeping the ball nicely, and occupying the Tunisian half. But perhaps Tunisia aren't totally unhappy with that.

11:08 CET: The Tunisian players are very much pumped up, but in terms of football on the pitch, it has been a quiet start.

11:00 CET: Here we go then. Australia kick the match off. 

10:53 CET: It's fair to say that the Tunisian fans are making up the majority of those inside the stadium. The atmosphere is lively as the players make their way out. Genuinely, the ratio of Tunisian fans to Australian fans is probably 95:5. This is basically an away match for the Aussies.

9:55 CET: I've just seen a stat, which is kind of interesting. Both these sides have played a combined 33 games at World Cups, winning just four. They are also averaging under a goal a game.

Not trying to put any of you off the game, but this probably isn't going to be a classic. I'm not sure I had to tell you that though.

Team News

Both managers have made one change to their sides. 

Australia coach Graham Arnold brings Fran Karacic into the defence at right back in place of the injured Nathaniel Atkinson.

Jalel Kadri keeps Wahbi Khazri on the bench with Naim Sliti coming into the attack for Anis Ben Slimane.

Tunisia - Dahmen; Talbi, Meriah, Bronn; Abdi, Skhiri, Laidouni, Drager; Sliti, Jebali, Msanki

Australia - Ryan; Behich, Rowles, Souttar, Karacic; Mooy, McGree, Irvine; Goodwin, Duke, Leckie


We are back! Another day, another match, another bit of live text coverage as Tunisia face Australia as the weekend begins. Australia were on the receiving end of a 4-1 thumping by a devastating French side, but they will know that they have much more of a chance for a win here than they did in their opening game. Tunisia were good against Denmark though, and were the better side for large portions of that 0-0 draw, so will be targeting a victory here that could, leave them well poised.

Can't get yourself to a TV? That's fine. We come prepared. Listen to our audio coverage right here.

We will deliver you the team news in a bit, and as usual, StatsPerform will be giving you stats throughout the game.