Fans slam France for controversial tactic that would have cost Australia a place in the World Cup round of 16 if it wasn’t for Mathew Leckie’s moment of genius
France have come under fire after fielding a second string XI that would have seen Australia cruelly bundled out of the World Cup if it wasn’t for Mat Leckie’s wonder strike.
Les Blues still topped Group D ahead of the Socceroos, but fielding a weakened side against the North Africans raised plenty of eyebrows from supporters across the globe, with one fed up football tragic labelling the move ‘pathetic and insipid.’
Another felt it was a ‘shameful performance’ with a third believing the decision showed Deschamps’ incompetence.
‘They will learn from this,’ Deschamps said of the disjointed performance.
‘Tunisia were right up for it while we were timid, late into the challenges and made too many errors, even if we did do better at the end when some more experienced players came on.
‘This result means we haven’t met all our objectives but the most important one was to be in the last 16.’
France next play Poland in the round of 16 – and are on a collision course for a mouth-watering quarter-final versus England should the Three Lions beat Senegal.
Australia’s attention now turns to Argentina – and Graham Arnold is determined to see his squad stay grounded.
The Socceroos boss insisted there would be no celebrating among his squad following the impressive win over Denmark, who finished bottom of the group.
Didier Deschamps opted to rest the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Hugo Lloris and Adrien Rabiot for the clash against Tunisia – and it backfired after they lost 1-0
Kylian Mbappe was thrown on late against Tunisia – it was evident France have their eyes on the round of 16 and beyond
If Australia didn’t win versus Denmark thanks to Mat Leckie’s strike, they would have been packing their bags in Qatar
‘No celebrations tonight. That’s why we won after a great win (last Saturday) against Tunisia,’ he said in the post game press conference.
‘No celebrations, no emotion and no social media.’
Meanwhile, Leckie and his captain Mat Ryan are poised to both break the Australian record for most World Cup games in the knockout encounter against Lionel Messi’s men.
Against the Danes, the duo both made their ninth World Cup appearance, equalling Tim Cahill and Marco Bresciano’s previous record.
Kick-off is 6am on Sunday (AEDT).