Impressive Socceroos held to 1-1 draw with Denmark


Christian Eriksen rattled the back of the net for Denmark in the 7th minute after Mile Jedinak equalised from the penalty spot for the Socceroos minutes before the half-time whistle.

It means that Denmark must secure a point against already-qualified France to be certain of reaching the last 16, with Australia needing to beat Peru in their final Group C fixture to have a chance of denying Christensen's side.

The goal seemed to galvanise the belief among the Australian players, who started the second half well on top.

"We're still in with a sniff", said Jedinak after the game. "I have no influence on the rest so I do not think about it".

Denmark were ahead in the seventh minute, however, when Tottenham Hotspur attacker Christian Eriksen fired a powerful effort past Australia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan following an excellent flick from Nicolai Jorgensen.

Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel attempted to intimidate Jedinak before the penalty by approaching and shouting at him, but those attempts failed.

They could not turn that impetus, however, into clear chances, although second-half substitute Daniel Arzani brought an additional spark to the Australia attack and had a good shot parried by Schmeichel at the death. Michael has covered the Socceroos through Asia, Europe and South America in their past three World Cup campaigns.

Australia coach Bert van Marwijk will not need to do any extra homework on Denmark's star man, Eriksen having worked his way up through the Ajax youth system.

MASSIMO Luongo and Australia's hopes of qualifying for the second round of the World Cup remain in the balance following an entertaining 1-1 draw with Denmark.

Denmark manager Age Hareide meanwhile acknowledged yesterday that Australia's game-plan will revolve around stopping Eriksen. The last part of the puzzle is that we must make the difference by scoring one more goal than the opponents.

Rogic was heavily involved in Australia's push for a victor in the second half, and tested Leicester City man Schmeichel but could not find the elusive goal.

Sisto went close at the other end, while Australia striker Andrew Nabbout was forced off with a serious-looking shoulder injury.