Mathew Leckie and the Australia national team are still waiting for their first victory at the 2018 World Cup. On Thursday, the Socceroos were held 1-1 by Denmark, despite being on top for large parts of the game. “Obviously we are disappointed. We should really have four points from our first two group games. Nevertheless we played well and can be proud of ourselves,” said coach Bert van Marwijk after the game. Christian Eriksen put the Danes into the lead with a stunning volley after seven minutes. However, Leckie, who once again played the whole game, helped Australia level the scores. From a corner, the Hertha winger headed the ball against RB Leipzig’s Yussuf Poulsen’s hand in the box, with captain Mile Jedinak converting the subsequent penalty in the 38th minute after assistance from VAR.
The Australians, who came into the game under a lot pressure, started the better out of the two teams, with Leckie’s header in the fifth minute the first dangerous action of the game. However, thanks to Eriksen, the Scandinavians took control of the game and almost doubled their lead through Nikolai Jörgensen after 23 minutes. Jedinak’s second spot kick in the tournament brought Australia back into the game as they dominated the second half, despite failing to take a number of good opportunities. Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel saved a point for his side late on, denying Daniel Arzani and then Leckie again.
Unfortunately for Leckie and Co., the point is not nearly enough after their opening 2-1 defeat to France. Before the final group game against Peru on 26th June, Australia only have one point, Denmark already four and France three, even before their second game. The Australians must win against Peru in order to keep up any hopes up of progression.