Martin Tyler has a long-held affinity with the Socceroos cultivated over many years of calling for SBS, and lauded their dogged performance against Argentina in their Round of 16 meeting as a typically Australian effort.

Tyler was behind the microphone for Australia’s greatest performance against La Albiceleste, their 4-1 win in the Bicentennial Gold Cup punctuated by Charlie Yankos’ driving free-kick. On Sunday, the Socceroos had every right to feel rattled at 2-0 down – instead they rallied and threatened, with Aziz Behich and Garang Kuol both fine margins away from providing another Yankos-esque moment.

‘I thought they were really well organised. [People] mention the Charlie Yankos game – Graham Arnold played in that game, so I’ve seen him develop from a really hard working international footballer to an extremely diligent and detailed coach’, Tyler told Box2Box.

‘They performed way beyond expectations, but perhaps it’s a bit unfair that expectations were so low. I think their whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts, which is what team sport is all about, and they certainly gave Argentina a real scare.

‘I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but certainly in England we know about Australian sportsmen, we know they give it their absolute all and this was typical of it. If you’re going to get knocked out do it gloriously, and that’s what they did, and they made Argentina look less like the candidates to win the World Cup than they did before a ball was kicked.’

The Socceroos squeezed every skerrick of exertion out of themselves across their four matches; Arnold leaned heavily on the spine of the side, making no more than one change from his starting eleven from game to game. In contrast, England have appeared untroubled by their condensed schedule, and now enjoy a six-day break before their quarter-final against France on Sunday.

‘Only time will tell, but my impression of this unique World Cup where the players are coming straight from the Premier League into the tournament without any sort of break is working for teams like England, because the players are used to these big schedules.

‘When the dust settles, I think people will look back and wonder what the benefits of moving it to this time of year were, and it looks like it’s suiting teams like England, who do look fresh and hungry.’

Senegal were one matter for England, but France will be another, and no footballer in Qatar looks as fresh or hungry as Kylian Mbappé. In 2018 he joined Pelé as the second teenager to score in a World Cup final, with his four goals in Russia helping his nation to their second World Cup.

No nation has gone back-to-back since Brazil’s triumphs of 1958 & 1962, firmly Pelé’s era: having netted five goals in four games already in Qatar, Mbappé is again threatening to replicate history.

‘Undoubtedly, Kylian Mbappé is ripping up world football at the moment. He’s an astonishing player for one so young. The goals he scores, the maturity he plays with, he’s bringing the best out of everybody else. But England have had eight different goal scorers, and Harry Kane was the last of the eight!

‘I think there’s more pressure on France, they’re the holders and they’ve got a World Cup to lose. If England were to get knocked out the football they’ve played here has been much appreciated in the UK, so they wouldn’t go home timidly. I’m counting the hours to the game, to be honest with you!’