PLAYER RATINGS: Mathew Leckie scores one of the greatest goals in Socceroos history to beat Denmark – here’s who else starred in Aussies’ win for the ages
Mathew Leckie’s superb individual effort in the second half has ensured the Socceroos are through to the round of 16 at the World Cup in Qatar.
In what was one of the greatest moments in Australian sporting history, Graham Arnold’s men were collectively immense against Denmark, winning their second group match to finish behind France.
Here’s how the Socceroos rated:
MAT RYAN 7 – Inspired performance from Australia’s skipper, an assured presence in goal. There is a reason he has played at three World Cups.
MILOS DEGENEK 7 – Shaky first 20 minutes, but recovered well after he was handed a start at right back by Arnold. Likely to keep his spot.
HARRY SOUTTAR 8 – Immense. The towering defender was everywhere, and won virtually every header. His recovery from an ACL injury has been remarkable.
Australia’s Harry Souttar heads the ball to safety against Denmark – the defender was again a standout for the Socceroos
Souttar and Mat Ryan celebrate Australia’s 1-0 win over Denmark which sealed a spot in the round of 16 in Qatar
KYE ROWLES 7 – Gritty 90 minutes from the man who made his name in the A-League with the Central Coast. Repeatedly put his body on the line when needed.
AZIZ BEHICH 7 – Typical energetic performance down the left flank, wears his heart on his sleeve.
MAT LECKIE 7.5 – Australia’s hero. Sublime finish on the hour mark – and to think, he probably wouldn’t have started if Martin Boyle was fit.
JACKSON IRVINE 7.5 – Another tidy game in the middle of the park, did his job and worked hard from the opening whistle.
AARON MOOY 6 – Calm, cool and collected. The type of shift Socceroos fans were craving, and the veteran delivered.
Aaron Mooy was an assured figure in midfield for the Socceroos, who stunned Denmark 1-0
Mathew Leckie (left) of Australia celebrates with Riley McGree after scoring what proved to be the winner against Denmark
Federation square in Melbourne was heaving with Socceroos fans early on Thursday morning
CRAIG GOODWIN 6 – Quiet first half given his excellent World Cup to date, was replaced at halftime.
MITCH DUKE 6 – Herculean performance, the hero against Tunisia never stopped running and harassing the Danish defenders.
RILEY McGREE 6.5 – Starting to live up to his considerable promise, was an attacking threat once Australia woke from their early slumber.
KEANU BACCUS 6 – Replaced Goodwin, his energy was exactly what Arnold – and Australia – required.
BAILEY WRIGHT 6 – Thrown into the fray with 15 minutes left, won a few crucial headers after Denmark threw the kitchen sink at the Socceroos late on.
JAMIE MACLAREN N/A – A straight swap for Duke, didn’t have enough time to leave his mark on the contest.
AJDIN HRUSTIC N/A – Introduced in injury time.
Denmark (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel 5.5; Kristensen 5.5 (Bah 46, 5.5), Andersen 5.5, Christensen 5.5, Maehle 5 (Cornelius 70, 5); Hojbjerg 6, Jensen 5 (Damsgaard 58, 5.5); Skov Olsen 5 (Skov 70, 5), Eriksen 6, Lindstom 5; Braithwaite 5.5 (Dolberg 58, 6)