Denmark's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel failed to block the shot of...

Denmark's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel failed to block the shot of Australia's Mathew Leckie, unseen, during the World Cup group D soccer match between Australia and Denmark, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe) Credit: AP/Themba Hadebe

AL WAKRAH, Qatar — Australia advanced to the round of 16 at the World Cup, beating favored Denmark 1-0 Wednesday on Mathew Leckie’s 60th-minute goal.

It is Australia's first time in the knockout stage since 2006, the only other time they advanced out of the group stage.

Leckie took a pass just around the center circle and moved in and around a Danish defender, eventually lacing a left-footed shot that beat goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel diving to his left.

Australia finished with six points in Group D.

The World Cup proved to be a major disappointment for Denmark after reaching the semifinals in the 2020 European Championship. They slogged through a 0-0 draw in their opening match with Tunisia and then recovered in a 2-1 loss against France.

The Danes attacked from the start against Australia but could never break through with the Socceroos.

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Australia's Mathew Leckie scores his side's first goal during the...

Australia's Mathew Leckie scores his side's first goal during the World Cup group D soccer match between Australia and Denmark, at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) Credit: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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