Australia progressed to the World Cup Round of 16 for only the second time in their history after Mathew Leckie’s second-half winner sent Denmark crashing out at the group stage.
The Socceroos began their Group D decider thinking a draw would be sufficient but with Tunisia surprisingly beating France, who had already qualified, Graham Arnold’s side required victory, as did the Danes.
Denmark missed several good first-half chances to take the lead with Milos Degenek denying Jesper Lindstrom with a brilliant block and Mat Ryan saving a Mathias Jensen effort.
Instead it was Australia — whose only previous appearance in the last 16 came in 2006 — who broke the deadlock on the hour, springing Leckie on the counter-attack.
The Melbourne City forward twisted Denmark defender Joakim Maehle inside and out before threading a precise left-foot shot low into the right corner.
The Danes, who had reached the knockout stages in four of their five previous World Cups, tried to stage a fightback but the lack of cutting edge that characterised their two previous group games continued to dog them as Australia celebrated wildly at the final whistle.
The Sporting News was tracking live scoring updates and highlights for Australia vs Denmark at the 2022 World Cup. Follow below for complete results from the Group D match in Qatar.
Australia vs. Denmark commentary, highlights from 2022 World Cup
FULL-TIME: Australia 1-0 Denmark
That’s it! They’ve done it! AUSTRALIA ARE THROUGH TO THE LAST 16!
90th min+5: Another Denmark corner, swung to the back post. Andreas Cornelius has a free header, but heads it over the bar! Nearly there…
90th min+4: It’s all Denmark. Corner. Kasper Schmeichel comes up for it, but Mat Ryan claims it and drops to the floor in relief. Two more minutes…
90th min+2: Chance for Denmark, but Christian Eriksen – of all people – can’t control a cross six yards out, and it goes begging.
90th min: There’ll be SIX minutes of added time. Can Australia hold on?
88th min: Ajdin Hrustic is on for Australia with Mathew Leckie, the hero of the hour, taking a well deserved rest.
87th min: Harry Souttar to the rescue again! The Stoke City defender has had a a brilliant tournament and makes another decisive sliding block as Denmark threaten. The ball rebounds to Jesper Lindstrom, who slices it wide.
82nd min: James Maclaren on for Australia, taking over from the tireless Mitchell Duke, who’s put in another big shift up top on his own.
80th min: Denmark look shot. No belief, energy or inspiration about their play here. But still 10 minutes to save themselves…
78th min: The Socceroos have only made the Round of 16 once before in their six previous World Cup finals, back in 2006 in Germany. They are around 12 minutes, plus added time, away from matching that feat.
74th min: Another change for Australia – Bailey Wright on for Riley McGree.
73rd min: Huge chance for Denmark! But Andreas Cornelius, just on as a sub, can’t keep his header down. Should have got that on target. But there’s an offside flag in any case.
71st min: Is this a penalty for Denmark? Kasper Dolberg goes down under a challenge from Harry Souttar…the referee points to the spot…no! There’s a flag up for offside.
70th min: Denmark sending on two more substitutes – Andreas Cornelius and Robert Skov on for Andreas Skov Olsen and Joakim Maehle.
67th min: Brilliant run from Aussie left-back Aziz Behich as he weaves his way into the Denmark penalty, but his cross hits Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and deflects off Behich for a goal-kick. Unlucky.
62nd min: As things stand, AUSTRALIA ARE GOING THROUGH!
60th min: GOAL FOR AUSTRALIA! On the counter-attack, Mathew Leckie twists Joakim Maehle inside and out before threading a precise left-foot shot low into the right corner beyond the reach of Kasper Schmeichel.
58th min: Denmark make a double change. Kasper Dolberg and Mikkel Damsgaard on for Mathias Jensen and the disappointing Martin Braithwaite.
57th min: BIG NEWS FROM THE OTHER GAME! Tunisia have scored against France! If it stays that way, the North African side will be going through! A draw not enough for Australia now.
52nd min: Ouch! Kye Rowles takes a shot from Andreas Skov Olsen full force in his midriff. The Aussie defender is clearly winded and needs a minute to recover.
48th min: Chance for Australia! Jackson Irvine advances into Denmark territory and plays a smart one-two but when the return pass reaches him from the left foot, he skies his first-time effort over the bar with his left foot.
46th min: A change for each side at the interval.
St Mirren’s Keanu Baccus on for Australia, with Craig Goodwin making way. Alexander Bah replaces Rasmus Kristensen for Denmark.
HALFTIME: Australia 0-0 Denmark
Denmark have had by far the better of it, but as with their previous two group games, are lacking a cutting edge in attack. Australia will be happy enough, after coming back into it in the last 10 minutes. As things stand, they are joining France in the Round of 16.
45th min+1: Andreas Skov Olsen comes through the back of Mitchell Duke and is perhaps fortunate not to pick up a yellow card. Denmark getting frustrated.
45th min: We’ll have two minutes of added time.
42nd min: Jesper Lindstrom plays a lovely one-two on the edge of the box but as he advances in from the left, opts to cross the ball with the outside of his right foot, and it trickles straight to Mat Ryan. Odd decision. Final ball lacking for Denmark at the moment.
41st min: And suddenly Mitchell Duke has his first sight at goal as Australia put a decent move together. It’s a decent strike with his left foot, but Kasper Schmeichel deals with it comfortably enough.
36th min: Mitchell Duke, the Socceroos’ goalscoring hero against Tunisia, has not seen much of the action so far. The striker is a little too hefty with his challenge on Joakim Maehle and concedes a free-kick, much to his disgust.
32nd min: Australia struggling to make any headway in attack. But as things stand, they are going through as runners-up behind France in Group D.
29th min: Jesper Lindstrom marauding down the left for Denmark and gets a cross in that Australia clear, but only as far as Christian Eriksen. The great Dane’s radar is off on this occasion though, and he drags his right-foot shot wide of the left post.
24th min: Denmark bossing possession at the moment, looking dangerous every time they advance into the Australia half. Andreas Skov Olsen plays a neat one-two with Mathias Jensen but the Club Bruges striker’s tame effort is easily gathered by Mat Ryan. Danger signs for the Socceroos though…
19th min: Now it’s the Danes on the attack and Joakim Maehle gets to the left byline and scuffs a cross into the area, forcing Aussie keeper Mat Ryan into a hurried save.
17th min: Australia break out in numbers but Mathew Leckie can’t find the pass to Craig Goodwin and Denmark clear.
11th min: And Mathias Jensen is away down the right! He advances on goal and lets fly with his right foot, but Mat Ryan tips it over the bar.
10th min: Chance for Denmark, but that’s a brilliant block from Australia right-back Milos Degenek as Jesper Lindstrom pulls the trigger.
8th min: News from the other match in Group D. Have Tunisia taken the lead against France? No! It’s been ruled out for offside. As you were…
6th min: Rasmus Kristensen gets a decent ball in for Denmark but Mathias Jensen can’t connect with it at the near post. Half a chance.
4th min: A booking, already! Algerian referee Mustapha Ghorbal wastes no time getting his yellow card out after Aziz Behich pulls back his man. The Australia defender has to be on his guard now.
3rd min: Australia’s Riley McGree has the first attempt at goal, but his left-foot shot is blocked by Joachim Andersen.
The Socceroos getting plenty of support from back home, as you’d expect.
1st min: And we’re off! Denmark try to get it forward straightaway, looking for Christian Eriksen, who is playing in a more advanced, number 10 role today.
3 mins from kickoff: And now for Denmark’s…
5 mins from kickoff: It’s time for the anthems! A spot of ‘Advance Australia Fair’ to begin with…
7 mins from kickoff: The pre-match pyrotechnics are getting underway, with the arrival of the teams imminent.
10 mins from kickoff: The Socceroos will be looking to Mitchell Duke for inspiration again today as they try to qualify from Group D.
As well as netting their winner against Tunisia, Duke has recorded the most shots (five), shots on target (two), successful aerial duels (seven) and touches in the opposition box (seven) of any Aussie in Qatar.
Mathew Leckie has been another pivotal player too. Expect to see the Melbourne City attacker in the thick of it today.
30 mins from kickoff: A few stats for you as we move closer to kickoff at the Education City Stadium.
- This will be the second World Cup meeting between these two sides after a 1-1 group-stage draw in 2018. Overall, Australia have only beaten Denmark once in four matches.
- Australia have lost eight of their previous 11 games against European teams at the World Cup, failing to keep a clean sheet each time.
- After losing to France last time out, Denmark will be looking to avoid back-to-back World Cup group-stage defeats for the first time.
45 mins from kickoff: Here’s a reminder of the different qualification scenarios in Group D as we head into the final round of games, with France facing Tunisia at the same time as this one.
1 hr 15 mins from kickoff: The Australia team is out!
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold makes just one change from the side which beat Tunisia 1-0, with Milos Degenek coming in at right-back for his first start of the tournament, taking over from Fran Karacic.
It is the only position that has changed in Australia’s three group games – Nathan Atkinson starting the opener against France – with the other 10 players all retained for a third straight match.
1 hr 30 mins from kickoff: A little pre-game message from injured Socceroos star Martin Boyle
2 hrs from kickoff: Eriksen, Schmeichel and Simon Kjaer are the key stars for the Denmark fans heading to the Al Janoub Stadium
3 hrs from kickoff: Can Garang Kuol upstage Gavi as the youngest goal scorer at Qatar 2022?
3 hrs 30 mins from kickoff: Graham Arnold insists his Australia side will not be playing for a draw against Denmark
4 hrs from kickoff: Australia fans went WILD after their 1-0 win over Tunisia but will they be celebrating at full time in Al Wakrah?
4 hrs 30 mins from kickoff: Denmark fans will be hoping for another piece of World Cup magic from their No.10 today!
5 hrs from kickoff: Hello, and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of Australia vs. Denmark. The Socceroos sit in the driving seat, second in the table that is, ahead of today’s encounter but are only two points ahead of their third placed opponents. It’s set to be a cracker. Let’s get going!
Australia vs. Denmark lineups, team news
With Hearts defender Nathaniel Atkinson still sidelined with an ankle injury which ruled him out of the match against Tunisia, Milos Degenek starts at right-back in the only change to the side, with Fran Karacic dropping out.
Australia confirmed lineup (4-1-4-1, right to left): 1. Ryan (GK) – 2 Degenek, 19. Souttar, 4. Rowles, 16. Behich – 13. Mooy – 22. Irvine, 14. McGree, 7. Leckie, 23. Goodwin – 15. Duke
With Thomas Delaney ruled out of the tournament with injury, xoach Kasper Hjulmand makes three changes to the side beaten 2-1 by France.
Mathias Jensen, Martin Braithwaite and Andreas Skov Olsen all come into the side, with Victor Nelsson, Mikkel Damsgaard and Andreas Cornelius dropping out.
Denmark confirmed lineup (3-4-3, right to left): 1. Schmeichel (GK) — 2. Andersen, 6. A. Christensen, 5. Maehle — 13. Kristensen, 23. Hojbjerg, 7. Jensen, 10. Eriksen — 9. Braithwaite, 11. Skov Olsen, 25. Lindstrom