Home » World Cup, Australia redeems itself: 1-0 to Tunisia, Duke decides in the first half

World Cup, Australia redeems itself: 1-0 to Tunisia, Duke decides in the first half

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World Cup, Australia redeems itself: 1-0 to Tunisia, Duke decides in the first half

The decisive goal in the 23rd minute, Tunisians dull and with few ideas: now the Australians are playing everything against Denmark

From our correspondent Fabio Licari

Upside down. The beautiful Tunisia that you had put under Denmark is no more. Instead Australia reunited after the four French slaps. And the group flips. Waiting for France-Denmark, the classification changes: now the “kangaroos” are on three points and can hope, while Tunisia is expected by France, the toughest match. But having lost her fury, and playing so confused, it’s going to be tough. Australia prevailed with immediate aggression and Duke’s header in the 23rd minute. So she closed, but it’s not like she risked a lot. A lot of running and generosity for the Tunisians, but an absolute lack of lucidity. Not a great match. Australia is normal, physical, with a good point guard (Mooy) and a full back (Leckie) who works for three. In Tunisia, lost along the way the “gladiator” Laidouni, dominant with the Danes, here among the worst, only Msakni remains, definitely the best. Of another category. The (few) dangers are created by him. But he is alone.


However, it is immediately clear that it is not the Tunisia of the debut. Kadri’s men probably didn’t recover from that infernal hour he put under Denmark and for a quarter of an hour they didn’t even get past the midfield, crushed by Australia. Just one substitution, Sliti instead of Ben Slimane on the frontline, wasn’t enough. Laidouni also normalized, which is more noticeable for a foul than for directing, and Jebali out of phase.

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Better Australia that runs the right way, with orderly movements and typical competitive spirit: with France it is not enough, with Tunisia yes. Arnold’s system is a 4-2-3-1 which often lowers McGree in the forward line and prevents Tunisia from setting up. In the 23rd minute the goal came from a cross from the left by Goodwin that was deflected by chance: the parable ended up on Duke’s head who hit from behind and didn’t forgive, 1-0 for Australia. Tunisia only reacts in the final: Dragen sees Souttar’s shot back on the line, Msakni arrives from behind and anticipates everyone but sends out just a little. But he gives the sense that the second half will be different.


And so it is. Tunisia takes possession of the pitch also changing the system: Kadri returns to the 4-3-3 with which he had played throughout 2022, inserting a midfielder (Sassi) for a fullback (Drager). The pressure is determined, but there is only enthusiasm and generosity. Ladouni is not seen until the substitution. Jebali mess up front. Kadri has to reshuffle the cards again by switching to a 4-2-3-1 with the new ones: Khazri attacking midfielder and central Khenissi. But all in vain. There is only one player who could change history, Msakni. Delicious plays, dribbling, through balls, even the most dangerous in the area. But no one speaks his language and even Australia would have the chance to score the second with Leckie who doesn’t reach the ball in the slide. It ends with a futile siege in which the central Souttar is exalted. And Australia has hope again.

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