Where’s Timmy? Australia on brink of exit after 1-1 draw with Denmark
Denmark 1 (Eriksen 7’)
Australia 1 (Jedinak 38’ pen)
By Sam Burge
Australian captain Mile Jedinak said his side were unlucky not to get all three points in an enthralling Group C match that wasn’t without controversy.
The VAR played its part once again, this time helping Australia and Jedinak level up from the spot after a Christian Eriksen volley put Denmark up 1-0 early.
The 1-1 draw puts Denmark in a great position to progress with four points from two games while leaving Australia in a precarious position needing to win its final match against Peru and hoping other results go their way.
— FIFA World Cup ???? (@FIFAWorldCup) June 21, 2018
Both teams created chances from the set piece in the opening minutes with Thomas Delaney sending a header wide for Denmark and Mathew Leckie putting his header from an Aaron Mooy corner over the bar.
But it was an errant header from Mooy in the 7th minute that allowed Lasse Schone to play a ball into Nicolai Jorgensen who took two perfect touches to lay the ball into the path of a streaming Eriksen. The Danes’ playmaker hit a sweetly-timed volley into the roof of the net.
Denmark had two more excellent chances in the first 25 minutes with a Pione Sisto thunderbolt from outside the box landing in Matt Ryan’s arms and a Jorgensen header going wide after the Danes strung to together a series of passes.
Australia finally found their groove and started gaining the ascendancy with Tom Rogic and Leckie beating players at will.
In the 36th minute Leckie once again got his head to a Mooy corner and there were appeals for a Denmark handball.
Play continued but the referee was notified by the VAR system of a handball by Denmark’s Yussuf Poulsen. Referee Antonio Mateu agreed although it is still being debated whether Poulsen’s arm was in an unnatural position.
Jedinak stepped up and just like he did against France, sent the keeper the wrong way as he stroked his spot kick along the carpet to put Australia level.
A 1-1 scoreline at half-time was somewhat fitting with both countries having periods of dominance.
Australia started the second half as they finished the first with a level of control and Rogic and Leckie looking the most threatening with dribbling, mazy runs.
Australia’s great young hope Daniel Arzani came on for Robbie Kruse in the 68th minute and started mesmerising defenders immediately.
Mooy and Rogic both had a crack at long range efforts with Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel being called upon to save Rogic’s left foot strike.
For Denmark Sisto looked the most dangerous and had a long range shot of his own go wide.
Australian striker Andrew Nabbout looked to have popped his shoulder in the 73rd minute and the whole of Australia would have thought it was time for their favourite son and all-time leading goal scorer Tim Cahill to be unleashed.
It wasn’t to be, however, with Tomi Juric coming on as he did against France.
Despite their continued press and Arzani forcing Schmeichel into a close-range save, Australia just couldn’t find a winner.
Australian Coach, Bert Van Marwijk was left disappointed with the result.
“We controlled the game and deserved to win.”
With France beating Peru in the other match, Australia will need a win against Peru and a French win against Denmark to have any chance of progression.
Crowd: 40,727 at Samara Arena
Denmark: 1 Schmeichel (gk), 4 Kjaer (C), 6 Christensen, 8 Delaney, 9 N. Jorgensen (68’), 10 Eriksen, 14 Dalsgaard, 17 Stryger, 19 Schone, 20 Poulsen (59’), 23 Sisto
Substitutes:2 Krohn-Dehli, 3 Vestergaard, 5 Knudsen, 7 Kvist, 11 Braithwaite (59’), 12 Dolberg, 13 M.Jorgensen, 15 Fischer, 16 Lossl (gk), 18 Lerager, 21 Cornelius (68’), 22 Ronnow (gk)
Australia: 1 Ryan (gk), 5 Milligan, 7 Leckie, 10 Kruse (68’), 11 Nabbout (75’), 13 Mooy, 15 Jedinak (C),, 16 Behich, 19 Risdon, 20 Sainsbury, 23 Rogic (82’)
Substitutes: 2 Degenek, 3 Meredith, 4 Cahill, 6 Jurman, 8 Luongo, 9 Juric (75’), 12 Jones (gk), 14 Maclaren, 17 Arzani (68’), 18 Vukovic (gk), 21 Petratos, 22 Irvine (82’)