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Denmark 1-1 Australia: VAR penalty hands Australia draw

Another VAR penalty decision helped Australia to a 1-1 draw with Denmark in their World Cup Group C clash in Samara on Thursday afternoon.

Mile Jedinak celebrates after scoring his penalty

Another VAR penalty decision helped Australia to a 1-1 draw with Denmark in their World Cup Group C clash in Samara on Thursday afternoon.

Denmark took the lead on seven minutes through Christian Eriksen’s superb half volley, before VAR came into play as Yussuf Poulsen was adjudged to have handled from Mathew Leckie’s header.

Mile Jedinak stepped up to score his second of the tournament (38), and despite Australia impressing in the second half, it stayed 1-1.


Simon Kjaer disputes Antonio Mateu Lahoz’s decision to award Australia with a penalty

Player ratings

Denmark: Schmeichel (7), Kjaer (7), Christensen (7), Dalsgaard (6), Stryger (6), Delaney (5), Eriksen (7), Schone (6), Jorgensen (7), Poulsen (6), Sisto (6)

Subs: Braithwaite (5), Cornelius (5)

Australia: Ryan (6), Risdon (7), Sainsbury (7), Milligan (7), Behich (7), Jedinak (8), Mooy (9), Rogic (8), Leckie (8), Kruse (6), Nabbout (6)

Subs: Arzani (7), Juric (6), Irvine (NA)

Man of the match: Aaron Mooy

Australia must now win their final group game to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout stage, with France facing Peru at 4pm in Group C’s other clash on matchday two.

Denmark, knowing a win would secure qualification to the knockout stages, started well, and took the lead in superb fashion. Nicolai Jorgensen’s spin and assist was slammed home by Eriksen from 15 yards as the ball rose difficulty on the half volley.

Jorgensen should have made it 2-0 midway through the half, but he headed wide from Henrik Dalsgaard’s right-wing cross from close range.

Then came the controversy as Leckie’s header hit the flailing hand of his marker Poulsen; Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz went to VAR as the ball went out of play upfield, before awarding the spot kick.

Team news

Australia were unchanged following their 2-1 defeat by France on Saturday, while Denmark made just the one change, with Kvist making way for Schone.

Christian Eriksen celebrates with Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen
Christian Eriksen celebrates with Denmark’s Yussuf Poulsen

Jedinak, who scored in a similar circumstance in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by France, made no mistake, slotting home after Kasper Schmeichel had attempted to put him off.

Australia upped the ante in the second half, and went closest through the commanding Aaron Mooy, whose 25-yard effort whistled just high and wide of Schmeichel’s goal.

Schmeichel then made two saves at the death to deny Australia, first from Daniel Arzani’s angled effort, before Leckie’s volley into the ground was superbly held by the Leicester goalkeeper.

Jedinak equalises from the spot
Jedinak equalises from the spot

Man of the match – Aaron Mooy

Premier League fans know what the Huddersfield man can do, and, on Thursday, Mooy proved what a commanding figure he can be in midfield.

Alongside the impressive Tom Rogic and Jedinak, Mooy got stuck in, constantly looked forward as the match became end-to-end early on, and was nearly rewarded as his stunning long-range effort whistled inches wide.

The managers

Denmark’s Age Hareide: “We lost too many balls in midfield and that caused us problems. We need to get better with our passing and get more rhythm in our play. Many of our choices today were not good enough and that was the problem.”

Australia’s Bert van Marwijk: “We had chances to win and we deserved to win, so I’m disappointed. I fully agree we should have won. Against France we also deserved more, I think. We have one point and we deserve four points from these two games.”

Opta stats

  • Australia have failed to win any of their last five World Cup matches (D1 L4), their joint-longest winless run in the competition.
  • Australia have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 12 World Cup games, the longest current run in the competition alongside Saudi Arabia.
  • Jedinak’s penalty for Australia ended a run of nine hours and 31 minutes without conceding at international level for Schmeichel (571 minutes).
  • Thirty-one per cent of goals scored by Australia at the World Cup have come from the penalty spot (4 out of 13), the highest ratio among any of the teams to have scored at least 10 goals in the competition.

What’s next?

Denmark face France on Tuesday in their final Group C game, while Australia face Peru, both at 3pm.

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