How the internet reacted to the Socceroos win over Tunisia — Nerves, more nerves, and pure joy

They say the body replaces cells every 10 years, and the Socceroos haven’t won the World Cup in 12 years.

But there are those special neurons that are irreplaceable, and deep within the national psyche since 2010 they flicker and sparkle every four years, sending a faint echo of what it’s like to enjoy a World Cup victory that ripples through the Socceroos. faithful.

Those ripples turned into a fast, happy wave on Saturday night as Australia beat Tunisia 1-0 in Qatar – and here’s how the internet reacted.

Doubts about the starting XI were rife ahead of the game, with only one change made by Graeme Arnold after the loss to France.

And the feeling that the country was looking ahead, at the best of times, was palpable.

The crowd was a sea of ​​partisan Tunisians, either roaring in support of their team or in utter disgust at the Socceroos’ away strip, a kit that drew similar howls from posters online.

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As against Denmark, Tunisia started the match with physicality, pushing and shoving, and pushed into the fight as the Aussies started whipping.

Cross after cross, mostly hit with relative freedom of aim, but nobody finds the target.

Then one cross was deflected off the boot of Craig Goodwin and deflected off the Tunisian defender with the slightest of passes until Mitchell Duke twisted and sliced ​​through neck muscles with a scalpel header with all the precision and dexterity of a surgeon.

The ball flew into the far corner and Australia opened the scoring again in Qatar.

As jubilant as they were, the Socceroos faithful remembered how quickly and ruthlessly France had pounced after conceding in the first match, and how quickly that joy was dashed.

Coming with a narrow lead, the anxiety was immediate and there were fears that the team would restart after just 22 minutes.

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Human Mountain Harry Soutar created the first of many, many colossal blocks.

Australia converted on the half and, truth be told, Tunisia only caught him a few times on the counter.

A well-deserved half-time lead, a confident sense of control of the contest and… was it a sense of pride?

However, that pride quickly turned into fear, namely of the second 45 minutes of regulation time and of the actual stoppage time that has become a hallmark of the Qatar World Cup.

Tunisia started the second half with renewed vigor, with the engines of defeat nipping at their heels, and the Socceroos pulled back slightly against their own goal.

Calls began to be made for a replacement who could allow Australia to regain their attacking momentum, most of them specifically naming Ajdin Hrustic, with Graham Arnold appearing to ring the bell.

Harry Souttar, who has played two elite football games in the last year, was a brick wall.

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Seeing him dart in front of shots, racing like some iron golem after Tunisia’s forwards to break up counter-attacks, the Stoke City defender was absolutely brilliant.

Matthew Leckie had a chance that came inches from scoring, but the second-half attitude was set; it looked like that one goal lead would be all the Socceroos would have to hold on to until the final whistle.

As the minutes ticked by and the Tunisians struck, every moment was pure agony for the Socceroos faithful.

Finally, after a very conservative six minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle was blown and the crowd rejoiced.

Federation Square in Melbourne was once again a complete mess.

Australian sports stars cheered with us all.

Australia stay alive in this World Cup.

Australia has won this world cup.

Those decades in the wilderness are over.

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