Denmark and Australia share the spoils | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 21.06.2018
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Denmark and Australia share the spoils

Denmark and Australia have settled for a point apiece in Group C. Christian Eriksen gave the Danes an early lead with an impressive half-volley before Mile Jedinak equalized from the spot for the Socceroos.

After their fortunate victory over Peru in their opening game, Denmark came flying out of the blocks against Australia, taking the lead after just seven minutes through Christian Eriksen, the Tottenham Hotspur man firing home a brilliant half-volley from the edge of the box after a neat flick-on from Nicolai Jorgensen. 

Denmark continued to dominate the early phases but Australia gradually began to work their way into the game, thanks largely to the tireless running of Mathew Leckie.

The Hertha Berlin midfielder was everywhere, including the penalty area where he rose to meet Aaron Mooy's corner in the 37th minute. His header was blocked by the hand of Bundesliga colleague Yussuf Poulsen and, although the referee initially waved play on, the VAR intervened to correctly award a penalty. 

Denmark's RB Leipzig striker was booked (his second yellow card of the tournament, meaning he'll miss the final game against France) before Mile Jedinak, just as he did in the Socceroos' first game, leveled from the spot. 

The second half saw a marked drop in quality but it was ultimately Australia who had the best chances to win the game - 19-year-old subsitute Daniel Arzani was particularly impressive. As the clock ticked down, Australia's best chance arrived - a double chance in fact. 

First, Arzani's powerful close-range effort was well blocked by Kasper Schmeichel, and the Danish stopper reacted quickly just moments later to claw Leckie's effort away from his top corner, as the game ended 1-1. 

"We played really well against the team ranked 12th in the world," said Australia coach Bert van Marwijk at full-time. "We haven't lost but, to be honest, we're disappointed we haven't won. We could have had four points by now." 

As it is however, the Socceroos have one point. Should France beat Peru and Denmark (as expected), an Australian victory over Peru in their final game could yet see them qualify at Denmark's expense. But there's a long way to go yet. 

As it happened: 

+++ FULL TIME: Denmark 1-1 Australia (Eriksen 7' - Jedinak pen 38') +++

90+2' Denmark corner falls to Braithwaite at the back post but his attempted half-volley is straight at Mathew Ryan. Was that Denmark's last chance?

90+1' Three minutes of injury time ...

90' Christian Eriksen drags a half-volley wide for Denmark. That wasn't quite a replica of his first-half goal. 

89' Double chance for Australia! First, the hugely impressive teenager Arzani forces a save from Schmeichel from point-blank range. From the rebound, Mathew Leckie's half-volley sees the Danish goalkeeper in action again, springing up to palm the ball away from his top corner. 

88' Delaney fires across goal from the left but it was rash - and Braithwaite was screaming for it in the center.

87' The clock is ticking down but neither side is really pushing for a winner. In fairness, a draw suits both, for the time being.

81' Chance for Australia! Arzani skips past Sisto on the byline and fires the ball across ball but there's no-one in the middle to connect for the Socceroos! 

79' Patient build-up play from Austr

alia ends with a cross from Arzani into Leckie, but the Hertha Berlin man mis-cues his header and the ball bounces off his shoulder.

75' Substitution for Australia: Nabbout is replaced by Juric
Nabbout pulled up suddenly holding his shoulder and has to be replaced by the big Luzern striker. That looked painful.

72' Thomas Rogic curls in Australia's latest effort but Schmeichel saves well. At the other end, Sisto fires off a similar effort for Denmark which goes just wide - Denmark's first shot in the second half.

71' Leckie's cross is too deep. But Mooy collects and fires a long-range rocket of an effort narrowly wide. Australia are getting closer.

69' Substitution for Australia: Kruse is replaced by Arzani.
69' Substitution for Denmark: Jörgensen is replaced by Cornelius.

68' Moments later however, Schmeichel fumbles a cross in the box and the ball is quickly send back into the danger area with the goalkeeper stranded - but Denmark clear for an Australia corner, which is headed clear. 

67' Dalgsaard with a vital interception to break up an Australian counterattack. Good positioning. 

66' There's been an unfortunate but marked drop in quality since half time, especially from the Danes - perhaps just exemplified by Christian Eriksen passing straight to a green shirt, most unlike him. 

65' Denmark's latest attack through the middle looks promising but Braithwaite's pass is heavy and sends Jörgensen too far wide on the left. He manages to cut back to Sisto but the momentum is lost. 

59' Substitution for Denmark: RB Leipzig's Poulsen is replaced by Braithwaite.

55' A neat move involving Leckie and Kruse sees the latter's cross go too long. But Australia are passing the ball with more confidence in the final third. 

51' Poulsen drives into the box and loses possession, but the ball is flicked on by Jörgensen to Sisto who shoots wide. That was a good chance. 

48' Denmark comes forward with Sisto down the left who has space to run at the Australian defense, but the Celta Vigo man overdoes it and the attack breaks down.

We're back underway in Group C. As it stands, Australia are on course for their first point of the tournament. Or maybe even points?

HALF-TIME: Denmark 1-1 Australia
After a lightning start from the Danes, Australia have worked their way back into the game and are deservedly level. Denmark are the technically superior team but the Socceroos will take confidence from how they ended the half. They need a little bit more quality up front though because they can't be relying on penalties ... 

41' That was almost disastrous for Australia! From a Denmark free-kick, Sainsbury almost diverts the ball into his own net but Ryan saves the day. That was close. 

38' GOAL! Denmark 1-1 Australia (Jedinak)
Mile Jedinak converts his second penalty of the tournament and Australia have their second goal of the tournament! "Ripper, mate!" as they say ... 

38' Poulsen is also booked, his second yellow of the tournament meaning he'll miss the next game.

The VAR correctly recognizes that Leckie's header was blocked by a raised arm from Yussuf Poulsen and a penalty is awarded! 

37' The referee is checking ... 

36' Corner for Australia, who are slowly working their way into this game. Curled in by Mooy, Leckie gets up but his header is blocked - but was that hand ball?

30' Another half-chance for the Socceroos but Robbie Kruse's effort from inside the box is well blocked by the Danish defense.

27' Australian counter-attack: Kruse feeds Leckie whose cross is deflected off Kjaer, but it doesn't trouble Schmeichel. 

24' Dalsgaard with a dangerous cross into the Australian six-yard-box but Jörgensen heads wide, perhaps put off by Sainsbury's foot. 

23' Thomas Rogic tries to inject some penetration into Australia's game but then drags his shot wide from the edge of the box.

22' Sisto with a long-range, left-footed effort for Denmark which is straight down Mathew Ryan's throat. 

17' Having said that, the Australians have become more cautious again and are being careful not to throw too many men forward. They're clearly aware of Denmark's danger on the break. 

13' The goal has led to an open contest here - Australia know that they have to come forward and attack, otherwise they could be heading home. And it's a long way home. 

7' GOAL! Denmark 1-0 Australia (Eriksen)
What a finish! Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen fires Denmark with a stunning half-volley from the edge of the box after a neat flick from Nicolai Jörgensen to set up the chance. Great start for the Danes! 

5' First chance for the Socceroos as Mathew Leckie is left unmarked from a corner and heads over the bar. Both early chances falling to Bundesliga players here. 

2' An early free-kick for Denmark results in an early corner and a header on goal from Thomas Delaney, which bobbles wide.

1' Kick-off!
We're underway in Samara. Denmark kicking from left to right in white shirts and red shorts, Australia in their changed strip of dark green. 

Team news:
RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen (wearing Yurary, the name of his father who died of cancer when he was six, on his shirt) starts up front for Denmark. Mathew Leckie and Robbie Kruse start for Australia.

Bundesliga watch
RasenBallsport Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen scored Denmark's winner against Peru and will lead the line again versus Australia. Ex-Werder Bremen and future Borussia Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney pulls the strings in the center for the Danes, while former Borussia Mönchengladbach loanee Andreas Christensen was preferred to current Foals center-back Jannik Vestergaard. 

Australia's midfield features VfL Bochum's Robbie Kruse and Hertha Berlin's Mathew Leckie. The latter is already on a yellow card from the France game. 

Welcome to DW's live coverage of the World Cup Group C clash between Denmark and Australia
The Danes got their World Cup campaign off to a winning start, beating a feisty Peru side 1-0 in their opening game. But they were somewhat fortunate as the South American team missed a penalty and a host of good chances, so coach Age Hareide will be looking for an improvement against Australia in Samara. 

The Socceroos held a talented French side at bay for long periods in their opening game, defending stubbornly and also posing a threat on the counter-attack. Even after falling behind to an Antoine Griezmann penalty, they bounced straight back, winning a penalty of their own which was converted by Mile Jedinak, before losing to a Paul Pogba strike.