It was ugly, it was nerve-racking and it was painful.
But for bleary-eyed Australians who got up in the middle of the night to watch the Socceroos take on Denmark, they couldn’t care less.
Watch the world’s best footballers every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Graham Arnold’s side stunned the world No. 10 with a 1-0 win to advance to the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time since 2006.
Sure, Aussies across the nation and indeed the world may view the Denmark game through rose-tinted glasses considering the magnitude of the win.
But for the media overseas, who had little to no emotional investment in the game, they saw the game through a clear lens.
Safe to say, it was not a game for the neutral.
The Times’ Martin Hardy noted the final minutes of the game were by far the most exciting in what was a relatively drab affair.
Fed Square ERUPTS after Socceroos win | 00:32
ARNIE’S ARMY! Socceroos end 16-year wait for World Cup knockouts in epic upset
‘You f***ing ripper’: Socceroos send Australia into delirium as world reacts to Qatar ‘miracle’
Socceroo’s devastating family news moments after famous win
“It was a colourful end to a woeful game, but none of those packed in a corner of gold strips cared,” Hardy wrote.
“An insipid match had been crying out for a moment of magic, of real quality, and it arrived just past the hour mark, and just two minutes after Tunisia, in the other group D game, had taken a shock lead against France.”
The Guardian’s Emma Kemp shared Hardy’s view on the excitement levels, or lack of, in the game.
“Sometimes football is not beautiful,” Kemp wrote.
“Sometimes doing just enough, for just long enough, can lay the foundation, open the door.
“So it was as a counter-attack ended Australia’s agony and Denmark’s World Cup campaign.”
The moment that almost ruined Roos | 00:35
But for all of Denmark’s attacking impetus throughout the game, which turned to desperation after Leckie’s goal, a former England international believed Australia’s win was their just rewards.
“Australia deserved it,” Dean Ashton told talkSPORT.
“The way they play, the way they defended against Tunisia and Denmark, two 1-0 wins, they deserve it.
“They nullified Denmark, they only allowed three shots on target of which none of them were golden opportunities, Australia were pretty comfortable in the end, actually.
“You could see what it means to them and their supporters, it’s what the World Cup does.
“The tears from some of the Australian players, it’s such a huge achievement for them to go into the Round of 16.”
BBC Sport’s Emma Smith pointed out that Denmark’s need to find a goal played right into the hands of the Aussies.
“Australia, the lowest seeded side in Group D, ran the game at their tempo and the largely uneventful encounter suited their needs perfectly, with a draw potentially enough to see them through having started the day second in the group on three points,” Smith wrote.
With a spot in the knockout stage now locked in, Australia won’t care how they get results anymore, so long as they do.
Then there were the losers, with Denmark understandably unhappy with their side – favoured to escape the group that included France and two so-called minnows – finishing last on just one point.
Perhaps we could suggest they were sore losers when leading English-speaking Danish outlet the Copenhagen Post headlined their article as: “Distinctly average Australian team triumph 1-0 in must-win game”.
Their actual website was down at the time of publishing this article, with perhaps an overload of angry Aussies to blame.