Denmark Boss Confident of Reaching Knockout Stages After Australia Draw But Admits Side Are Fatigued

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Denmark boss Age Hareide has backed his team to qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup but conceded his side showed signs of fatigue during their 1-1 draw with Australia, which was clouded with further questions over VAR’s decision making.  

Christian Eriksen had catapulted the Danes into an early lead on Thursday after a sumptuous strike on the half volley but after hitting the front Denmark wilted as the Aussies took control of proceedings. 

Australia were then the benefactors of a VAR decision to close out the half as a penalty was awarded in retrospect after Yussuf Poulsen was deemed to have handled the ball in the box, where Mile Jedinak converted to result in a share in the spoils. 

The result did not reflect the Danes’ performance as they were easily controlled by the Socceroos, and Hareide conceded it could have been down to early signs of fatigue. 

“After a good start to the match, the team seemed a little worn. We were able to realise during the match that the players seemed tired,” he told reporters, via L’Equipe

Hareide added: “We lost too many balls and as Australia got too much control, we had to run after the ball. Because Australia is a good team. But we knew it would be very difficult against her because France was lucky to beat them. 

“We must be very happy to have been able to take four points in two games. We will probably have to take one more. But I think we’ll qualify for the round of 16.”

The intervention of VAR against Australia was Denmark’s second match in a row where they have been penalised with a penalty following its use, and Hareide questioned the decision making process involved.  

“There are people here in Russia who are in another place, far away from the stadium, who decide which situations should be examined and which ones should not be,” he said.

“Who actually decides? They or the referee? But there were other situations in the match where the referee could have stopped the match. Because there were other game facts that he should have seen.”

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