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FIFA World Cup 2018: Valiant Australia draw Denmark 1-1 in Group C fixture

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

Edited by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: June 21, 2018 20:25 IST ]
Image Source : AP

Australia drew Denmark 1-1 in Group C

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

The 38th-minute penalty was set up after Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen was called for a handball following a video review. Poulsen was also given a yellow card and will be suspended for the team's final group match against France because of accumulation.

The goal was Jedinak's second from the spot at this year's World Cup, and it snapped Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel's five-match streak of shutouts for the Danes.

Christian Eriksen scored in the opening minutes for Denmark, which has gone unbeaten in 17 straight international matches.

Going into the tournament, No. 36 Australia was the lowest-ranked team in Group C with the others all in the top 12.

With a loss to France in the opener, a defeat Thursday would have made it nearly impossible for the Socceroos to advance to the next stage. Denmark, meanwhile, won its first match against Peru.

Australia lost to 1998 World Cup champion France 2-1 on Saturday in Kazan, with both French goals coming as the result of video technology. But the score didn't reflect the Socceroos' gritty defensive performance.

Australia again took a defensive stand against Denmark, which was back at the World Cup after missing out on the tournament in Brazil. The Danes were coming off a 1-0 victory over Peru on Saturday in Saransk. Poulsen, who plays for German club RB Leipzig, scored the lone goal.

It is the fifth World Cup appearance for the Danes, who reached the quarterfinals in 1998.

Australia was also making a fifth trip to the World Cup. The team's best showing was in the 2006 quarterfinals.

Moments after Mathew Leckie's header for Australia sailed over the goal, Eriksen sent a left-footed shot over goalkeeper Mathew Ryan's outstretched arms.

Pione Sisto nearly gave the Danes the advantage just after the halftime break, but his shot went to the right of the goal. Australia added some firepower in the 68th, bringing on 19-year-old Daniel Arzani as both teams scrambled for a winning goal.

Australia lost Andrew Nabbout in the 74th minute with what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder. He was replaced by Tomi Juric.

Denmark's opening victory over Peru was marred by the loss of starting midfielder William Kvist, who fractured two ribs and is likely to miss the rest of the tournament. He was replaced in the starting lineup against Australia by Lasse Schone.

Denmark's last loss was in October 2016 against Montenegro, 1-0 in Copenhagen.

GROUP DYNAMICS

The highlight of Group C will be the match between France and Denmark on Tuesday in Moscow. The top finishers in the group will go on to play opponents from Group D, which includes Croatia, Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

Eriksen, who plays for Tottenham in England, has scored in 17 of the national team's last 20 matches.

During World Cup qualifying, he scored 11 goals for the Danes, third-best in Europe behind Poland striker Robert Lewandowski with 16 and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo with 15.

Now 26, Eriksen was the youngest player at the World Cup in South Africa. He has 79 appearances for the national team and 23 goals.

He was named man of the match on Thursday.

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