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Denmark vs Australia
2018 FIFA World Cup, Group C, Match 21, June 21. Fulltime
|Samara Arena, Samara, Russia|
Australia have failed in their quest to put away Denmark and keep their qualification path to the knockout stages at the FIFA World Cup in their own hands, having to settle for a one-all draw.
The Danish side were fantastic early and with the Socceroos seemingly stuck in the sheds during the first quarter of an hour, the European nation didn’t disappoint as they scored the first goal of the contest through Christian Eriksen.
Australia, after surviving some more opportunities, got themselves on the front foot and right back into the contest, with the VAR controversially ruling a handball had been committed off a corner by Danish attack Yussuf Poulsen. Mile Jedinak made no mistake on the penalty.
The Socceroos stayed aggressive into the second half, but failed to put the game away despite having countless chances in front of goal.
Australia now needs to beat Peru and have other results fall their way if they are to advance to the knockout stage.
The Socceroos will look to register their first points of the FIFA World Cup and keep the qualification dream alive when they take on Denmark in Samara. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 10pm (AEST).
Australia were never expected to win their first game of the tournament, but put in a stirring performance none the less with only a penalty and lucky goal for Paul Pogba getting France over the line.
The 2-1 loss for the Socceroos saw them defend excellently, keeping the damaging French attack quiet for a vast majority of the game.
While they could only muster a single goal through a Mile Jedinak penalty themselves, the Socceroos will take plenty of confidence from the contest, despite not registering a point.
Despite the performance, they now find themselves in a position where they must win their second game to control their own destiny as the ‘Roos hunt for qualification to the knockout stages for the first time since 2006.
With Denmark winning their first game, a draw would mean they need France to beat both Peru and the Danes, with Australia to then clean up Peru for an advancement to the second round. Essentially, anything other than a win leaves them in trouble.
Denmark were far from perfect in their first outing at the Cup with Peru somehow keeping gun forward Christian Eriksen quiet. He struggled to break the Peruvian backline like he normally would, but there in lies one of the challenges for Australia.
While Eriksen did have a hand in Denmark’s only goal in the 1-0 win, it’s rare for him to be kept quiet two games in a row, so Australia must remain strong in defence if they are going to force a result in their favour.
The Socceroos have questions of their own to answer. The starting XI is likely to change, with questions particularly around the forward line. Andrew Nabbout and Tom Rogic started the first game, but are unlikely to do so again with Jackson Irvine, Tim Cahill, Daniel Arzani and Jamie Maclaren seemingly in the line to earn a call up for Bert Van Marwijk’s side.
Whatever the case, the Aussies must be aggressive and make their opportunities count.
The Socceroos have to come out and go for the kill here, but unfortunately, that might leave them vulnerable at the back. It’ll be hard to keep the Danes down two games in a row, but I expect the Aussies to cling to a point and their FIFA World Cup life.
Socceroos 1 – Denmark 1.
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