DOHA, Qatar — Australia defender Harry Souttar‘s man-of-the-match efficiency within the Socceroos’ 1-0 win over Tunisia on Saturday has been hailed by teammate Jackson Irvine as among the best particular person shows he is ever seen in a inexperienced and gold shirt.
Backed by coach Graham Arnold to renew his defensive partnership with Kye Rowles in opposition to the Eagles of Carthage regardless of being on the fallacious finish of a 4-1 scoreline in opposition to France in Australia’s opening sport of the event, Souttar repaid his supervisor’s religion tenfold on the Al Janoub Stadium with a titanic defensive show.
Profitable headers, blocking crosses and throwing himself about with reckless abandon in a sport during which the Socceroos rode their physicality to a significant win, the Scottish-born centre-back received 100% of his tackles and floor duels tried throughout the afternoon. He additionally made six clearances and blocked three Tunisian efforts on purpose.
“He’s massive, isn’t he? Literally massive,” mentioned teammate Riley McGree. “But he can move and he can play. He’s a very important player for us. So big respect to him and all the defenders.”
Two key moments specifically summed up Souttar’s efficiency, the primary arriving simply earlier than half-time when he obtained again rapidly as Tunisia broke and hurled himself in entrance of an effort from attacker Mohamed Drager to disclaim what appeared to be a sure purpose.
Then, with simply two minutes remaining within the 90 and his teammates struggling to maintain their legs transferring beneath them, Souttar in some way discovered the power to dash again and slide throughout to close down a breakaway from Tunisian substitute Taha Yassine Khenissi after a sloppy turnover from fatiguing Rowles.
“It’s right up there with the very best — midfielder, defender, or forward — it’s one of the best individual displays [for Australia] I’ve ever seen,” mentioned Irvine.
“He doesn’t need to be told that, and he’s one of the first ones back in the dressing room saying we go again. That’s just the kind of person, and player that he is. He wants to always push us and push everybody further. He’s a leader at his age already.
“That second, that deal with, we celebrated it virtually greater than the purpose in sure methods. I believe that will likely be performed in years to return.”
Adding to the impressiveness of his impressive performance and desperate chase-down, the game against Tunisia represented just Souttar’s third senior appearance since rupturing his ACL in a World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia in November 2021.
“I’ve solely performed three video games so I do not suppose I am 100% however I will give 100% each sport,” Souttar said. “In the direction of the top there, should you ask any of the lads, the legs have been beginning to go a bit within the final 10 minutes.
“When I saw the six minutes added on I thought ‘right’ let’s just get through it.’ And we got through it in the end.”