Earlier this week, Stoke City center-back Harry Souttar and team Australia had a rough start to their World Cup slate against France. On Saturday however against Tunisia, it was a much different story for Souttar and Australia, who fully hit their stride — Australia in their second fixture of the tournament were able to grab all three points after beating Tunisia 1-0.
Saturday’s match for Australia, almost mirrored that of Tuesday’s match against France early on in the game. Just like on Tuesday, Australia were able to scratch across the game’s first goal, when Mitchell Duke found the back of the net in the 23rd minute.
Unlike on Tuesday though, Australia from there were able to lock things down defensively. From the 23rd minute on, Australia were able to bend but not break and play to a clean sheet against Tunisia.
Harry Souttar Shines Against Tunisia
Since returning from an ACL injury, Harry Souttar has been working his way back to full playing speed. A perfect example of that could be seen against France for Souttar, who played okay, but struggled to truly find his footing overall in the match.
Well, whatever rust Souttar was still trying to shake off over the past month, it seemed to be all gone against Tunisia — Souttar, who scored a 7.7 Sofascore player rating (tied second best on the team), was fantastic against Tunisia.
Harry Souttar on the day racked up 6 clearances, 3 blocked shots, won 3 of 4 aerial duels, and completed 5 of 10 long passes he attempted (50% long pass completion percentage) per Sofascore.
To top off the icing on the cake, Souttar also made the biggest moment of the match defensively — That moment came late in the second half when Souttar made a perfectly timed tackle on the edge of Australia’s 18-yard box.
Additionally, the tackle was credited as a last man tackle with Souttar being one Australia’s last defenders back. If not for that tackle (or many of his blocked shots), Australia may have drawn or lost on Saturday against Tunisia.
Stoke City manager Alex Neil will have to have loved seeing Souttar’s performance on Saturday and will be hoping the big Scottish/Australian can replicate similar performances when Stoke City return to play in December.