VAR awarded a fifth penalty in Russia as Australia fought valiantly against Denmark to earn a 1-1 draw and stay alive in World Cup Group C.
Australia fought hard on Thursday, staying alive in the World Cup's Group C after gaining a point with a 1-1 draw against Denmark, which once again conceded a penalty through VAR.
Denmark pressured from the start as two set pieces from Christian Eriksen in less than two minutes caused a few issues, but the Australian back line stayed strong. There specifically was a bigger focus on the left-hand side as Pione Sisto used his pace and change of direction to cause a few headaches, but again the Socceroos stayed solid.
In the sixth minute, however, Eriksen once again showed his incredible talent with a fantastic goal. A one-two with Nicolai Jorgensen was all that was needed and the Tottenham star grabbed the lead for the Europeans.
Denmark kept pushing as in the 23rd minute, Jorgensen received a great ball from the right-hand side in the box but his header went just wide. Australia, however, was not holding back and the more Aaron Mooy was getting involved, the more dangerous it seemed.
And just as halftime approached, VAR awarded a fifth penalty in this tournament, as the referee decided Poulsen commited a handball in the box when leaping to head the ball with his arm outstretched. Mile Jedinak, as he did against France, scored it, and the Aussies equalized. Adding to the pain of the call to Denmark is that for Poulsen, it was his second yellow card of the group stage, ruling him out for the final match against France.
The second half started with a more a balanced approach from both teams, where both back lines seemed more to focus on not wanting to concede early. In the 53rd minute, some wonderful play by Australia forced a Danish clearance in the box. It was clear the Aussies felt another goal was not unrealistic.
After the hour mark, Denmark was controlling most of the possession in the final third with Australia pushing to hit the Europeans on the break. Mathew Leckie was making most of his work on the right hand side, looking to cross the ball, but Age Hareide's side were doing a good job at closing possible avenues.
In the 67th minute, Mooy's cross from the left was too much for Kasper Schmeichel to deal with, forcing a Dane clearance for a corner, which was eventually cleared. Mooy once again in the thick of the action when his long effort in the 70th minute went just above the bar.
Equally on the other side, Sisto's curling attempt just about missed the Australian goal. In the 73rd minute, Andrew Nabbout was forced off with what seemed an apparent shoulder dislocation.
With 10 minutes left, the match was open enough where both sides were given plenty of opportunities to score, especially Australia, which had a renewed sense of belief. Another attempt from Leckie was not caught well enough as Schmeichel picked up the ball with ease, and the teams settled for the draw.
Both remain alive going into the final day of group play, where Denmark will play France and Australia will face Peru.
Here were the lineups for both teams:
Here are the rosters for both sides:
Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby)
Defenders: Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jens Stryger (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich)
Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen)
Forwards: Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig)
Manager: Age Hareide
Goalkeepers: Brad Jones (Feyenoord), Mat Ryan (Brighton), Danny Vukovic (Genk)
Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Blue Wings), James Meredith (Millwall), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshopper Zurich).
Midfielders: Jackson Irvine (Hull City), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Robbie Kruse (VfL Bochum), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Mark Milligan (Al-Ahli), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Tim Cahill (Millwall)
Forwards: Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (Luzern), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian)
Manager: Bert van Marwijk