Job done! Denmark progresses to knockout stage – The Post

Job done! Denmark progresses to knockout stage

A dull 0-0 draw against France more than enough for Danes to book passage to last-16

Even Copenhagen mayor Frank Jensen and equality minister Eva Kjer Hansen got in on the action (photo: DBU-Twitter)
June 26th, 2018 6:46 pm| by Christian W
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It wasn’t the prettiest of performances, but when you face off against France in the final group match and need one point, there’s no room for errors … or adventurous play.

A dour 0-0 match it may have been, but the Danes got the point they needed – or didn’t need as it turned out as Peru beat Australia 2-0 to guarantee the Danes a berth in the last-16.

The Danes started brightly nonetheless, and when Martin Braithwaite was bundled over in the box, hopeful Danes were looking for the Brazilian referee to make the ‘I’m having a VAR gander’ sign with his hands.

No such luck. And the ref wasn’t looking favourable either when a clear Danish corner appeal and a freekick on Andreas Cornelius just outside the box were also ignored.

Still, the already-qualified French made at least five changes to the team that beat Peru in the previous round and it showed against a compact Danish side.

READ MORE: Another lacklustre Danish performance, but tournament hopes still alive

Croatia in the wings
Christian Eriksen was nearly put through later on in the first half, but the goalkeeper came out to smother the chance. France, meanwhile, focused on shots from distance, none of which troubled Kasper Schmeichel.

The second half was more of the same really, with France owning the lion’s share of possession and Denmark trying to threaten on the counter. Eriksen flashed a drive past the post at one point, but there wasn’t much to cheer about for the neutral fan.

It was clear early on that both sides were happy with the draw. And so it ended.

But the Danish fans were singing away in celebration, and with just cause. Their team haven’t played the most exciting of football in Russia so far, but still managed to reach their goal of progressing from the group.

Denmark will probably face likely Group D winners Croatia in the last-16 in Nizhny Novgorod on July 1.