Australia def Tunisia, Harry Souttar, tackle, reaction, stats, highlights, latest, updates


Move aside, Richard Marles.

Australia has a new Minister for Defence and his name is Harry Souttar.

The towering centre-back was a colossus for the entire match in one of the most complete defensive performances ever seen in a Socceroos jersey as Australia beat Tunisia 1-0.

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Clearing headers, crunching tackles, last-minute blocks, the Stoke City ace did it all.

But there was one moment that defined his performance more than anything else.

If anything, it was a visual representation of the “Aussie DNA” that Socceroos boss Graham Arnold has preached about.

A clearance from the Tunisian backline fell in the path of Souttar’s defensive partner, Kye Rowles.

However, in his attempt to control the ball, the Hearts defender misjudged it and the ball bounced off his face as he slipped over.

It fell perfectly into the path of the on-rushing Taha Yassine Khenissi and it looked as if Tunisia would race through and bag an equaliser.

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But Souttar fired up the jets and threw his 1.98m frame into a crunching tackle he couldn’t have timed sweeter if he tried.

Souttar then got up and cleared the ball from danger as the Australian fans packed inside the Al Janoub stadium roared their approval.

SBS pundit and Socceroos legend Craig Foster described Souttar’s tackle as “a throwback to 1974”.

BBC pundit Danny Murphy was equally gushing in his praise of the 23-year-old.

“He’s like Superman back there, considering he hasn’t played in all that time as well, its tremendous isn’t it,” Murphy said.

“And I’m glad I don’t have to name a man of the match as Mooy and Souttar, how can you choose?

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“They have given absolutely everything.

“Just another mention for those two, Souttar and Mooy, performances of their lives.

Speaking after the game, Souttar heaped praise on every single one of his teammates for their defensive contributions as the clock ticked down and admitted he enjoyed throwing his body on the line at every opportunity.

“I think you saw that towards the second half, I don’t think I was on the ball much, just trying to defend the box,” Souttar told SBS.

“And every single one of us did that exceptionally well.

“Coming for crosses, taking the pressure off the back four, the midfield dropping back for wing-backs, the wingers doing 12, 13km, unbelievable and so pleased for everyone.”

The reaction to Souttar’s defensive performance on social media was immense.



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