Australia held on to a narrow first-half lead to earn a crucial win over Tunisia that keeps their hopes of advancing to the World Cup knockout stages alive.
Knowing defeat would see them exit the competition quickly, Graham Arnold’s side emerged from the blocks full of energy and intent.
Mitchell Duke capitalized on their positive start when he superbly sent Craig Goodwin’s cross into the far corner to put them 1-0 up after 23 minutes.
It sparked a burst of jubilant celebration from the small contingent of Australian supporters behind the goal, which momentarily silenced the hostile and unwavering support for Tunisia.
Hissed and booed by clusters of red-draped Tunisian fans at the Al Janoub Stadium, Australia kept their cool to claim their first World Cup victory since 2010.
They survived a desperate attack from Tunisia in the second half, Youssef Msakni forcing goalkeeper Mathew Ryan into a save at his near post, although it came moments after Mathew Leckie pulled away from the connection with the cross of Goodwin at the other end.
Stoke City defender Harry Souttar put in a superb performance, making several key blocks and tackles as Australia dug in.
Australia, who suffered a humiliating defeat to France in their opening game, will next face Denmark, a tough opponent but with qualification in their hands.
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Notation range key = Give up = Sheer Perfection
- 6BronnReplaced byKechridaat 73′minutes
- 20DrägerReplaced bySassiat 45′minutesBooked at 90 minutes
- 14LaidouniBooked at 26 minsReplaced byKhazriat 67′minutes
- 24AbdiBooked at 64 mins
- 9jebaliReplaced byKhenisiat 73′minutes
- 2If a
- 15Ben Romdhane
- 22Ben Said
- 25Ben Slimane
- 5KaracicReplaced byDegenekat 75′minutes
- sevenLeckieReplaced byBaccusat 85′minutes
- 23GoodwinReplaced bymabilat 85′minutes
- 15dukeReplaced bymaclarenat 64′minutes
- 14McGreeReplaced byHrusticat 64′minutes
- Daniel Sibert
Match ends, Tunisia 0, Australia 1.
Second Half ends, Tunisia 0, Australia 1.
Ferjani Sassi (Tunisia) receives a yellow card for handball.
Handball by Ferjani Sassi (Tunisia).
Attempt blocked. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) right footed shot to the left of the six yard box is blocked.
Foul by Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia).
Milos Degenek (Australia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Montassar Talbi (Tunisia).
Milos Degenek (Australia) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt saved. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) left footed shot from the middle of the box sees his shot blocked in the middle of the goal. Assisted by Wajdi Kechrida.
Attempt blocked. Naïm Sliti (Tunisia) left footed shot from the center of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Taha Yassine Khenissi.
Attempt blocked. Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Replacement, Australia. Keanu Baccus replaces Mathew Leckie.
Replacement, Australia. Awer Mabil replaces Craig Goodwin.
Attempt saved. Montassar Talbi (Tunisia) right footed shot from outside the box sees his shot blocked.
Foul by Ali Abdi (Tunisia).
Ajdin Hrustic (Australia) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Coin, Tunisia. Corner conceded by Harry Souttar.
Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Jackson Irvine (Australia).
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