Mat Leckie

Australia Can Inspire a New Generation as Mat Leckie Seals World Cup Knockout Spot

It defies all reason but Australia, little old Australia, a footballing minnow tucked away in the bottom corner of the world, are moving on to the World Cup round of 16 for the second time in their history.

As reported by ESPN, Mat Leckie, a kid that grew up wanting to play a different sport, scored the goal that secured a famous 1-0 win over Denmark and guaranteed Australia’s place in the knockout stages. And cemented his place as a legend of Australian football.

Despite looking like he was on the verge of collapse after running himself into the ground in prior games against France and Tunisia, it was Leckie, in the game in which he and goalkeeper Mat Ryan equalled Australia’s record for the most-ever appearances at a World Cup, that stood up when it mattered most and ensured that they will now surpass Mark Bresciano and Tim Cahill’s mark.

On the hour mark at the Al Janoub Stadium, just moments after word filtered through that Tunisia had taken a shock 1-0 lead over France and that, as it stood, the Socceroos were going home, the Melbourne City attacker burst forward as his side looked to break quickly in transition.

With Denmark needing to win to keep their World Cup alive, the number of red shirts being thrown forward meant that pockets of space were there to exploit.

So, running onto an inch-perfect pass into space from Riley McGree, Leckie danced one way and then the other before, just when it looked like he’d taken one touch too many, he drove an effort into the bottom corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.

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