Denmark manager Age Hareide has accepted that his country's situation is 'just the way it is' after they were cruelly knocked out of the World Cup by Croatia on Sunday.
The Croatians eventually ran out 3-2 winners on penalties, despite the best efforts of Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel - who saved three penalties on the evening. Goals in the opening four minutes from Mathias Jorgensen and Mario Mandzukic gave us early drama, and there was also drama at the end of the match when Schmeichel saved a penalty in extra time.
However, despite his Man of the Match performance, Croatia were the better side in the penalty shootout and saw themselves wrap up the victory.
Victory saw them progress to the quarter finals of the World Cup, where they will face the host nation Russia to compete for a spot in the last four.
However, Hareide's men will now return home to Denmark, and the Danish manager has reflected on what could have been.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Hareide told reporters (per the Belfast Telegraph): “We could have progressed if those taking the penalties had done better, but that’s just the way it is.
“Lasse Schone, he normally does it for Ajax; Nicolai Jorgensen, he normally does it for Feyenoord and Christian Eriksen normally scores for the national team. But it didn’t work out today.
“There is research showing that your adrenaline and your stress is just as high as when people are in a war zone when you take a penalty.
“We had a wonderful keeper in Kasper Schmeichel, but it didn’t help.”
Despite the heroics of the Leicester stopper, it's very much a case of 'what could have been' for the Denmark squad. They defended admirably throughout the match and were unlucky to concede so soon after their first minute opener.