When all your dreams seem so close, yet so far away. Australia played a solid game against 12th ranked Denmark to hold on to a one all draw, neither side able to penetrate through for a winning goal.
Both teams came out with determination and set a fast paced game with all of Australia sitting on the edge of their seats. In the seventh minute Eriksen volleyed a powerful kick past a stranded Mat Ryan and my heart stopped beating for a moment.
The game was played end to end, with Australia creating counter attacks but they were unable to capitalise. They were provided with many chances to score from a corner (where was Tim Cahill’s head?!). Leckie dominated his patch of turf, turning his opposition this way and that way with his pace and good looks. Denmark too let opportunities pass them by, not able to hit the target. With a stand out miss in the 24th minute when Dalsgaard placed a cross to Jorgensen, who failed to hit the target.
In the 35th minute Australia were awarded a corner, the set piece delivered to Mathew Leckie’s head though his shot is deflected off target by what the Australian players and passionate supporters saw as a handball. The referee consults our *friend* VAR, and yes even VAR believes in the Socceroos tonight! A penalty and yellow card was the reward for Poulsen’s flailing arms.
Up steps our Captain.
Jedinak shoots, JEDINAK SCORES! Deftly placing the ball to the left of the right diving Schmeichel.
Jedinak’s penalty success remains intact. Australia’s last five goals in competitive games have now come from Jedinak penalties! This goal also breaks Denmark’s five game streak of clean sheets. C’mon Australia! We can do this!
Before we can get our heart back to a normal rate, Sainsbury gives everyone another heart palpitation almost scoring an own goal. It would have been devastating after his amazing game against the French. Thank goodness it’s nearly half time and we can all have a chance to compose ourselves, and do a wee.
The levelling of scores brings out an even more determined Australia after half time, but it is Denmark with the early chances left begging. At the 59th minute mark Denmark replace Poulsen with Braithwaite and my household breaks out into chorus… “That’s the way it’s gonna be, little darling…” Yep, we are mature here!
Our hearts are sent racing once again when Leckie somehow manages to nutmeg the Denmark goalkeeper Schmeichel and the ball gets near Kruse in the 6 yard box but couldn’t connect with the shot. It is just after this moment in the 68th minute mark Kruse comes off and Arzani comes on. Arzani comes on and immediately seems to be everywhere, making great use of his fresh legs and skill!
At the 75th minute mark Nabbout goes down, and lands awkwardly on his arm, seeming to dislocate his shoulder, his arm just dangling by his side. That is the end of his night, and possibly his World Cup. Juric is substituted on, many people still scratching their head thinking surely that was Cahill’s moment to come on and score in the dying moments of the game as he has done so many times before.
The fat lady has not sung for either team yet, both teams out there still giving it everything with all their heart. Shots on goal are saved, and other attempts go wide or high, but even this late in the game the intensity level is still there.
In the 90th minute, Denmark are awarded a corner, this could put the final nail in our coffin, anxiously we watch, we cannot go down now surely. The attempt on goal is saved! In one final run from Denmark, Braithwaite is caught offside by a length and a half. The final whistle blows.
Whilst a draw seems disappointing after we had the better possession, we never gave up and kept attacking with our heads held high, the spirits in the Socceroo’s camp seems high at the moment. All we can do now is look forward to our game against Peru. We can still do it!