Spirited Australia draw with Denmark at World Cup

Carla Harmon
June 21, 2018

Mile Jedinak's penalty kick gave Australia a 1-1 draw against Denmark on Thursday and new life at the World Cup.

But after 36 minutes came the incident from which they levelled, Mathew Leckie's header adjudged, after a VAR review, to have been diverted away by a deliberate handball from Yussuf Poulsen, who was booked.

Both teams' hopes of advancing will be settled in the final round of Group C matches, when Australia take on Peru and Denmark meet France.

With a loss to France in the opener, a defeat Thursday would have made it almost impossible for the Socceroos to advance to the next stage.

Celta's Pione Sisto's long-range strike was well-held by Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan as Denmark led at the midway point of the first-half. But the score didn't reflect the Socceroos' gritty defensive performance.

The Tottenham playmaker defied Denmark's reputation as a goal-shy outfit, applying a wonderfully crisp finish to a swift passing move that was reminiscent of the great Danish side of the 1980s.

MASSIMO Luongo and Australia's hopes of qualifying for the second round of the World Cup remain in the balance following an entertaining 1-1 draw with Denmark.

And with the psychological advantage of a 1-0 win over Peru from their opening game, in which goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel produced a string of fine saves to deny the South Americans, the Danes can afford to be more flexible with their strategy.

Captain Mile Jedinak says the Socceroos cannot afford to focus exclusively on dangerman Christian Eriksen looking for the win that could save their World Cup campaign.

It looked a bad decision in the early stages as Australia labored up front and the Danes tore into their opponents at a furious pace.

"Two matches in a row against us".

Denmark nearly doubled their lead when Aaron Mooy lost the ball after 21 minutes, Mat Ryan parrying Pione Sisto's effort, before Rogic dragged well wide at the other end soon afterwards.

Daniel Arzani provided a number of highlights for Australia in the second half after the 19-year-old made another appearance off the bench. "The next game is another game, but it gives us confidence", he said.

"I think the tournament is over for him", Australia coach Bert van Marwijk said.

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