Australia made history in the early hours of this morning by beating Denmark 1-0, in doing so qualifying for the round of 16 of the World Cup. But while everyone is talking about that, no one is talking about a classy gesture by Mitchell Duke, which took place in the 77th minute of the game.
We all know, by now, that Australia has gone and done the unthinkable by making it out of their group, showing football is about moments, not millions (and sparking some of the country to optimistically say “sorry, England, it’s coming down under”).
What you probably didn’t see was a classy act from the hard-working Socceroos forward Mitchell Duke, which took place in the 77th minute of the game. With Denmark chasing the game (after Matthew Lekie’s awesome counter attack goal) and with the Socceroos clinging onto the match by their shoelaces, Duke chased down one of Denmark’s defenders Alexander Bah.
Bah managed to get the ball away, but not before Duke gave him a good clobbering. At this point, however, rather than engage in any shithousery or without giving Bah the cold shoulder, conserving his energy for what would be an epic (and exhausting) end to the game, Duke helped Bah back to his feet.
This all took place in the bottom left corner of the screen, as the camera continued following the fast paced game (the ref ultimately let the challenge, which Duke half-pulled out of, slide).
At the end of the game, goal scorer Matthew Leckie said on the pitchside: “We had our doubts, but with our spirit, belief and work effort… it shows on the pitch. We battled to the end, so proud.”
As for his goal, he said: “It happened so fast… as I saw it was rolling in I was so excited; so happy.”
After Argentina beat Poland 2-0 in this morning’s other clash, topping their group, Australia will take on Lionel Messi’s side in the round of 16 on the 4th of December at 6am (AEST).