An emotional Mitch Duke was left in tears after leading Australia to a 1-0 win over Tunisia in their second group match of the World Cup.
The striker scored the only goal of a tense encounter when he guided a perfect header past the Tunisian keeper in the 23rd minute.
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The goal made Duke the eighth goalscorer for the Socceroos in World Cup history.
Duke wheeled away to celebrate, running over to the corner of the stadium where his son Jaxson was sitting, seemingly making a “J” with his fingers. Jaxson responded in kind and with a giant smile on his face for his dad.
Speaking after the match, Duke was fighting back tears of joy as the realisation of what he had just done hit home.
“No words, such a big moment for my family and my supporters, it is the best feeling in the world, but try not to get too caught up because there is one more game to win and get out of the group,” he said.
Duke said the moment he saw the ball hit the net was the “best moment” of his life.
“Just so happy and proud of the boys. We made so many sacrifices to get here. It is the best feeling in the world.
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Honestly, I will go to war with these boys. A huge shift by the lads, keeping the clean sheet and getting a result, we fought until the end, everyone gave 110 per cent and that is all you can ask. We showed the Aussie spirit and we got the result.
The 31-year-old said the Socceroos had confidence heading into their final group stage match against Denmark.
“Yes, confidence, mate. We try not to get too caught up in the emotion, we have one more job to do. Time to make more history for Australia.”
Duke’s performance was praised by the SBS commentators.
“What a performance by Mitch Duke,” Socceroos great Harry Kewell said.
“He led the line. It was hard for him. He created chances when he had the opportunity to go one-on-one against his defender and got his rewards.
Ben Kalfallah, meanwhile, said Duke made his opponents “panic”.