World Cup 2022: Australia shocks top 10 nation to make knockout stage, Tunisia beats France

World Cup 2022: Australia shocks top 10 nation to make knockout stage, Tunisia beats France

France had already clinched a spot in the next stage before losing to Tunisia

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Australia surprised Denmark in a critical World Cup match and made it to the knockout stage for only the second time in the country’s history, as Tunisia upset France in their Group D match.

Matthew Leckie put Australia ahead in the 60th minute in a win-or-go-home match. Leckie was in open space and made two moves around Danish defenders to get the ball past Kasper Schmeichel to make it 1-0. After that, the Roos held firm and stopped any other chances from Denmark.

Australia's Harry Souttar celebrate at the end of the World Cup Group D soccer match between Australia and Denmark, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

It was Leckie’s first World Cup. He made his World Cup debut in 2014 for Australia, but the country has not made it out of the group stage since 2006, when Tim Cahill was scoring goals for the squad.

Now, they finish runners-up to France in Group D and will play the winners of Group C.

Australia's Mathew Leckie, left, celebrates with his teammate Riley McGree after scoring his side's first goal during the World Cup Group D soccer match between Australia and Denmark, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022.  (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Denmark was ranked 10th in the FIFA standings coming into the tournament, and Australia was 38th. 

In the other Group D match, Tunisia defeated France 1-0, in a match that was going to send the French into the knockouts anyway. Tunisia was ranked 30th in the FIFA standings coming into the tournament, and France was ranked fourth despite being the defending World Cup champions.

Wahbi Khazri got a goal in the 58th minute, and despite having a star-studded lineup, France failed to put up anything on the board against Aymen Dahmen. In stoppage time. Antoine Griezmann finally broke, but his score was waved off because he was offsides.

Teammaes congratulate Wahbi Khazri after he scored his side's opening goal against France during a World Cup Group D soccer match at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022.  (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)