Tunisia 0-1 Australia: World Cup player ratings

Tunisia (3-4-3)

Aymen Dahmen (GK) Couldn’t do anything with the goal and otherwise looked assured. 6

Dylan Bronn (CB) Part of a defensive unit that saw plenty of the ball but lacked the courage to step out and play with it. 5

Yassine Meriah (CB) Completed a game-high 80 passes and worked hard repelling Australia in transition but lost Mitchell Duke for the goal. 5

Related: Mitch Duke header downs Tunisia to keep Australia alive at World Cup

Montassar Talbi (CB) Again, saw plenty of the ball but did little with it. One of the Tunisians to come off second best in the physical battle that gave Australia hope. 5

Mohamed Dräger (RM) Busy and lively in the first-half, but also wasteful. He delayed his shot allowing Harry Souttar to make a last-ditch block, and was removed at half-time following a head knock. That change allowed coach Jalel Kadri to revert to a more threatening 4-3-3. 6

Ellyes Skhiri (CM) Industrious but ineffective. Tunisia lacked invention in midfield all night. 5

Aïssa Laïdouni (CM) An early booking limited his fiery influence and there was no repeat of the passion that saw him excel against Denmark. 5

Ali Abdi (LM) Looked sharp early on raiding down the left but drifted as the game wore on. 5

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Naim Sliti (RW) Forced Mat Ryan into a couple of saves but didn’t do enough to justify his inclusion ahead of Anis Ben Slimane. 6

Issam Jebali (CF) Found himself isolated from his teammates and then crowded out by opponents. Tough night for the centre-forward. 5

Youssef Msakni (LW) Tunisia’s brightest spark by some margin but also guilty of missing his side’s decent opportunities. Looked like the only player in white capable of unlocking Australia’s defence but should have scored at the near post in the first half. 7

Substitutes:

Ferjani Sassi His arrival at the break allowed Tunisia to restructure and assert themselves in midfield but the substitute himself made little impression but for a wild shot and a late yellow card. 4

Wahbi Khazri Quite why Kadri only gave his x-factor the final 25 minutes is a mystery in a match that was crying out for wit. In his short time on the pitch he had one shot saved by Ryan following a cutback. 5

Taha Khenissi and Wajdi Kechrida n/a

Aaron Mooy was Australia’s main outlet in possession.
Aaron Mooy was Australia’s main outlet in possession. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Australia (4-3-2-1)

Mat Ryan (GK) Australia’s skipper was calm and commanding. Tunisia only landed four shots on target and most of those required little saving. But Ryan asserted himself by coming for crosses and dominating his penalty area. 7

Fran Karačić (RB) The only change to the starting XI was an assured presence at the back and got forward regularly in the first half. 7

Related: World Cup 2022: Australia keep their World Cup hopes alive – in pictures

Harry Souttar (CB) The big Abderonian was a granite colossus. Everything Tunisia threw at him he had an answer to, be it with his head, his body, or an outstretched leg. His timing to step out of the line and intercept was like prime Franco Baresi. From a guy just back from an ACL it was phenomenal. 9

Kye Rowles (CB) Not as assured as his partner in the centre of defence but nonetheless Rowles put in an almighty performance, putting his body on the line time and again to make crucial blocks. 7

Aziz Behich (LB) Another outstanding performer in Australia’s back-line, and not only that, Behich was a consistent threat on the left, linking up well with Craig Goodwin and offering an extra body in midfield as an inverted fullback. 7

Aaron Mooy (CM) The Celtic playmaker is known for his range of passing and composure but against Tunisia he rolled up his sleeves and dug in for a battle. He was physical, sharp into the tackle, and still Australia’s main outlet in possession. 8

Jackson Irvine (CM) For the second match in a row Irvine was the heartbeat of his side, working tirelessly to regain possession and making sure he was never far from Mooy’s side. Australia won the match because they matched Tunisia’s physical intensity and Irvine was a crucial to that fight. 8

Riley McGree (CM) Far more involved than against France, linking play with the front three and working hard to execute Australia’s successful press. 7

Mathew Leckie (RW) Tireless on the right hand side, doubling up to help his fullback, and flying into challenges all over the park. 7

Craig Goodwin (LW) Australia’s most creative attacker for the second match in a row, Goodwin was fortunate to be credited with an assist after his cross was deflected into the path of Duke. With better set-piece delivery he’d be one of the more hyped players in the tournament so far. 7

Mitchell Duke (CF) The Socceroo spearhead took the fight to Tunisia from the off, never taking a backward step, competing for every loose ball, and refusing to back down in any physical confrontation. His involvement in the build-up and finish for the game’s only goal was world class. 8

Substitutes:

Jamie Maclaren and Ajdin Hrustic both showed some neat touches in their 30-minute cameos but neither proved the relieving outlet their manager would have hoped. Maclaren did deliver one excellent cross that Leckie was unable to convert. 6

Miloš Degenek, Awer Mabil, Keanu Baccus n/a