Australia defeated Tunisia 1–0 in their second World Cup match, with Mitchell Duke’s header early in the first half keeping the Socceroos’ qualification hopes alive in the highly competitive clash.

It was Australia’s first World Cup win in 12 years and they move up to second in Group D behind reigning champions France.

Striker Duke scored midway through the first half with a flying header past keeper Aymen Dahmen to give Australia the lead, while Tunisia’s best chance came when captain Youssef Msakni shot just wide.

The win, only Australia’s third in six visits to the World Cup, was the perfect answer to their 4-1 thrashing by France on Tuesday.

Tunisia made their intentions clear from the start, running five defenders and two midfielders down the field and inviting the Australians to break them.

Australia had some success getting the ball over the flanks, but the last ball in the area rarely came close to a blue shirt as the Tunisian defenders packed in on the Socceroos forwards.

Craig Goodwin’s cross from the left looked to be going the same way until it needed a good deflection from a Tunisian defender and looped to Duke, who nodded it into the right corner of the net.

The goal was Tunisia’s first against a team that has shut out Brazil in their last 11 games and forced the Tunisians out of their defensive shell.

They brought in the side’s top scorer Wahbi Khazri in the second half as they picked up the pace in search of an equaliser, but the Australian defense held their own with goalkeeper and captain Mat Ryan a calming presence at the back.

The win broke Australia’s seven-game winless run at World Cups since they last took three points in a win over Serbia in 2010.

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