Socceroos fans across the world celebrate ‘iconic’ win over Denmark

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The Socceroos have qualified for the Round of 16 in the 2022 FIFA World Cup after defeating Denmark 1-0 at Qatar’s Al Janoub Stadium.
Australia will face Argentina next on Sunday, 4 December at 6am AEDT.

The last time Australia qualified for the Round of 16 was in 2006 after they achieved a needed draw against Croatia in the group stage.

The early kickoff (2am AEDT) was no deterrent for local supporters, who celebrated the monumental win in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Melbourne’s Federation Square was packed with fans who had turned out to watch the match on the big screen, while others had been cheering on Australia’s national football team at pubs.

There were also joyful scenes among supporters who had journeyed to Qatar to watch the match. One fan was seen holding a sign calling for a public holiday.

It was a feeling shared by the Socceroos. In a response to a congratulatory tweet by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who labelled the win “magnificent”, the team replied: “Thank you @AlboMP!! Public holiday?”, along with a winking face emoji.

Despite the elation, the Socceroos manager Graham Arnold said his players needed to stay focussed for the next match, and that meant “no celebrations”.
“No celebrations, no emotion… no social media,” he said after the match.
He said the victory was the result of an “incredible effort” by the Socceroos.

“I could see in their eyes that they were ready for tonight,” he said.

Socceroos fans celebrate Australias win over Denmark at Federation Square in Melbourne on 1 December 2022. Source: AAP / Con Chronis

Sports Minister Anika Wells labelled the win “iconic”.

“An iconic and thoroughly deserved victory for the Socceroos and we’re off to KNOCKOUT FOOTBALL BABY,” Ms Wells tweeted.

Australian diplomats at the Australian embassy in Washington DC were also watching the match.

Air conditioning wasn’t required for this match, but Australian fans watching around the world were certainly feeling the heat.
Mathew Leckie took on two Danish defenders and put the ball in the back of the net in the 60th minute, giving the Socceroos a 1-0 lead and causing Australian fans to erupt in the stands.
After the match, Leckie said he was feeling “proud” and “exhausted”.

“It happened so fast. As the ball was going in, I was so excited,” he said.

Players celebrating.

Mathew Leckie (left) of Australia celebrates with Riley Mcgree after scoring the 1-0 during the FIFA World Cup 2022 group D soccer match between Australia and Denmark at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, 30 November 2022. Source: EPA / Rolex dela Pena/EPA

“By the celebration, you can see how much emotion was involved.”

Leckie’s goal came only two minutes after Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri scored against France, giving them a 1-0 lead against the reigning champions.
A draw would have been sufficient for Australia before Tunisia got the lead, but once Khazri scored, Australia had no choice but to score if they were to go through. And Leckie stepped up.

France were the only team that had secured a spot in the Round of 16 ahead of Thursday’s match, meaning Australia, Tunisia and Denmark were all competing to go through.

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