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Wed 30 November 2022 | 21:51

Australia hero Duke not afraid of facing either Messi or Lewandowski

Mitchell Duke who scored Australia’s winner against Denmark to get them to the last-16 round, thinks “special” Australia can take on any team right now

Denmark

were stunned by Australia who got a surprise 1-0 win over them thanks to a goal from Mitchell Duke.

Duke, who plays for the second-tier Fagiano Okayama in Japan, has taunted any potential opponent by saying “bring on whoever” regarding whether they get to face Messi or Lewandowski in the next round.

"Bring on whoever, I feel like we could take on anyone right now,"

he told reporters.

"That's the belief, we go out with that mentality.

"Don't write us off. You can see there's something special building here, there's lot to be excited about."

The 31-year-old striker has now scored both of

Australia

’s winners against Tunisia and Denmark.

"It doesn't really feel like it's sunk in quite yet.”

Duke added

"That's what some of the boys were saying when they walked in. 'Do we realise what we've just done?'

"Playing a part in history right now, we've got two clean sheets, six points out of a group with two world class teams. It's unbelievable, a lot of people would have written us off but the belief in our team is unbelievable.

"Everyone wrote us off, we've finished second in the group, it's massive and we're not done yet – we want to make history."

Socceroos captain Matt Ryan echoed Duke’s sentiments but also pointed out Australia’s unity and teamwork, saying:

"The pride of the whole group, we have such a great team – youngsters, leaders.

"The togetherness is our backbone, our identity and the foundation. The world keeps giving us reasons to be proud of ourselves.

"It's great to see we’re an ambitious group. We're enjoying the victory but the comments are already coming out – we want to keep going, keep having victories like this and go as deep as we can, make the nation as proud as we can.

"Everything's a collective, from front to back, the commitment from everyone. The ones who haven't got on yet, the ones who have, the ones who haven't played as much as the others, the mentality and attitude has been top class and that's what we strive for. Everyone sets the standards high."

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