World Cup in football, Football | The World Cup nightmare is complete for Denmark after losing to Australia
AL JANOUB STADIUM (Nettavisen): The conditions were quite simple for Kasper Hjulmand and his crew;
Victory against Australia would send them on to the World Cup regardless of the result between Tunisia and France, but once again the Danish boys missed the target.
And when Australia suddenly needed a goal when Tunisia scored against the French, Matthew Leckie took responsibility and sent the “Socceroos” into the lead, extinguishing the Danish hopes of taking part in Qatar.
Well, the team will make sure the hat fits in the Danish press.
– This is a scandalous effort by Denmark now. The Australians stroll through the defence, TV 2 Danmark wrote during the second round.
Despite the fact that Denmark had to win to advance, a 1-1 score in the second half would have turned the situation around. That would mean that Australia would also have to advance to progress, but the red-clad power could barely create a scoring chance on Australia’s Mathew Ryan.
The result means that Australia catches up with France from the group, while Tunisia must also wave goodbye to advancement despite victory against Kylian Mbappé & co.
For Denmark, it is a severe cold shower. The team, ranked number one in the world, were heavy favorites against 38th-ranked Australia.
Hit the stock market
– There are not so many words that can describe what I feel now. It is of course not good enough that we advance to the group stage, says Aleksander Bah to the Scandinavian journalists in the mixed zone after the match.
Like the right-back, Danske Ekstra Bladet was not kind when they had to grade the Danish players’ performances.
The Tottenham player Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is among the players who are expected to be one of the mainstays of the Danish team, but were given a roll of the dice 1.
– Pierre… He was not himself the first half hour, and hardly hit a team player with his passes. If the visiting Danes had to storm the track and turn him around half a lap, they would probably have done it. A rare unacceptable performance from one of the national team’s great leaders.
In addition to Højbjerg, there were seven other players who also got dice roll 1, in addition to national team coach Kasper Hjulmand.
Andreas Christensen and Jesper Lindstrøm were the only ones to come out of the match with the match intact, with a dice roll of 3.
The Danes opened the best
Kasper Hjulmand came into the match knowing that his team needed three points to avoid an embarrassing exit in the group stage.
Jesper Lindstrøm opens fresh for the Danes in the first half and the Eintracht Frankfurt player gets to several good cross-post opportunities without buying Martin Braithwaite or any of the other team-mates the power to finish.
About midway through the first half, however, Australia began to take over more and more, and the «Socceroos», who at the current time were ahead with a draw, finished the half best.
In the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, expert Nicklas Bendtner was concerned.
– It worries me, writes the former national team player, and refers to still not having the power to score against the Australians.
Ultimate cold shower
The former Rosenborg player worried with good reason.
Despite the Danes opening the second half the best, it was quickly reported from the Education Stadium, a few miles north of Doha, that Tunisia had taken the lead against France.
It didn’t mean much for the Danes, who still needed goals, but turned the situation upside down for Australia, who suddenly had to hunt for a score to progress.
And the yellow-clad ones could hardly fight back faster. An unsuccessful play on substitute Kasper Dolberg allowed the Australians to counter, and Matthew Leckie spun around with Denmark back Joakim Mæhle before he «deliciously» rolled in 1–0 to wild cheers.
– Denmark is paralyzed. It’s a bunch of paralyzed Danish players who are running around the field right now. This is excruciating to witness. No spark. No will. It needs a miracle, wrote TV 2 Danmark towards the end of the match.
However, it seemed that the time for miracles had come when the head Mustapha Ghorbal suddenly pointed to the penalty mark after Kasper Dolberg had gone over in the box.
The Danish swing behind Australia’s goal, however, had enough time to celebrate before Ghorbal overturned his own decision to be offside on Denmark’s forward.
Hjulmand’s team never got any closer, and thus have to straighten their noses home after a terrible championship.