Denmark 1 -1 Australia: Mile Jedinak keeps Aussie hopes alive

Christian Eriksen scores the opening goal for Denmark. Picture: Getty.
Christian Eriksen scores the opening goal for Denmark. Picture: Getty.
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Australia kept their World Cup hopes alive as a contentious penalty awarded using VAR technology earned them draw with Denmark.

Christian Eriksen had put the European side ahead with a well-taken strike, only for Mile Jedinak to level from the penalty spot and secure a draw.

Both sides can still advance to the knockout stage with one game remaining but it was VAR which once again took centre stage at the 
Samara Arena.

Jedinak, who scored from the spot in the opening defeat by France, converted from 12 yards after VAR helped Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz judge that Yussuf Poulsen had handled in the box.

Peru missed a VAR-awarded penalty against the Danes in their first game, while Australia will feel justice has been served after they conceded a debatable penalty following video replays in the loss to France.

It was Eriksen who got the ball rolling for Denmark, their talisman on hand to thrash home Nicolai Jorgensen’s flick from just inside the penalty area.

The Scandinavians continued to dominate most of the early proceedings, with Australia only having a number of set-pieces which failed to truly test Kasper Schmeichel.

Celta Vigo’s Pione Sisto’s long-range strike was well-held by Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan as Denmark led at the midway point of the 
first-half.

The lead should have been doubled by Jorgensen but the Feyenoord forward headed wide from in front of goal.

Australia created a rare chance following good work by Mathew Leckie, whose low cross resulted in a blocked shot from Robbie Kruse.

The video assistant referee then played a part in Australia’s equaliser as match official Lahoz took a look at a handball claim against Poulsen.

He had originally waved away Australian protests but, despite the ball seemingly hitting Poulsen’s arm by accident from Leckie’s header, Lahoz pointed to the spot and Jedinak obliged to tuck home the penalty.

Trent Sainsbury was lucky not to turn the ball into his own goal as an Eriksen free-kick hit the defender and bounced goalwards, only for Ryan to claim.

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

Neither side could create a meaningful goalscoring opportunity as the half wore on, Aaron Mooy firing wide with 20 minutes remaining before Tom Rogic forced a low save from Schmeichel.

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

Daniel Arzani, the youngest player at the finals, came off the bench and tested Schmeichel before Leckie also brought another 
stop from the Leicester 
goalkeeper.

That was the last meaningful action of the contest, with both nations having to settle for a share of the spoils which maintains their respective hopes of making it out of Group C and into the knockout stages.