Home Sport Tame England draw with motivated Denmark

Tame England draw with motivated Denmark

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Morten Hjulmand’s rocket from outside the box levelled the tie before half-time, and Denmark were left to rue missing late chances to secure a famous victory.

Harry Kane (left) of England scores the 1-0 lead during the UEFA EURO 2024 group C match between Denmark and England, in Frankfurt Main, Germany, 20 June 2024. Picture: EPA, ROBERT GHEMENT

ENGLAND failed to guarantee their place in the knockout stages of Euro 2024 after Morten Hjulmand’s spectacular strike earned Denmark a 1-1 draw on Thursday night.

A point was the least the Danes deserved as England again flattered to deceive in Frankfurt after an underwhelming 1-0 win over Serbia to open their tournament.

Harry Kane had given the Three Lions an early lead as England pounced on a Danish defensive error.

Hjulmand’s rocket from outside the box levelled the tie before half-time, and Denmark were left to rue missing late chances to secure a famous victory.

England remain on top of Group C, two points clear of Slovenia, who they face in Cologne on Tuesday, and Denmark.

Serbia’s late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Slovenia earlier on Thursday also keeps their destiny in their own hands.

England boss Gareth Southgate said on Wednesday that he avoids media coverage during tournaments to escape negative stories.

But he will be braced for more criticism after another flat display from one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel claimed on the eve of the game they would not be fuelled by revenge for their Euro 2020 semi-final heartbreak to England three years ago.

However, the Danes were a different beast from the side that disappointed at the 2022 World Cup and in drawing against Slovenia to open their tournament.

Denmark had made the brighter start as both sides struggled to cope with a Frankfurt pitch that cut up badly in just its second game of five.

Yet, England capitalised on a howler from Hjulmand’s men to take the lead on 18 minutes.

Victor Kristiansen was caught unaware of Kyle Walker’s run down the right, and his deflected cross fell perfectly for Kane to roll in his 13th goal at major tournaments.

Denmark were not deterred by conceding, although it took a spectacular strike to equalise.

Hjulmand was given too much room to take aim, and he took full advantage from long range with a shot that clipped the inside of the post on its way in.

Southgate made no changes at the break, but the future of his experiment of playing Liverpool right back Trent Alexander-Arnold in a midfield role is in doubt after he was hooked for Conor Gallagher on 55 minutes.

Phil Foden’s form for England had been a source of much debate after he again failed to shine at international level against Serbia.

The Manchester City playmaker looked much more like the man that won Premier League player of the year awards this season, and was inches away from restoring England’s lead with a low drive that came crashing back off the post.

Southgate was bold with his changes in the search for a winner as Kane, Foden and Bukayo Saka were sacrificed for Eberechi Eze, Ollie Watkins and Jarrod Bowen.

Watkins nearly made an immediate impact as he was denied by Schmeichel after a brilliant through ball from Jude Bellingham.

Yet, it was Denmark who had the better chances to take all three points in the closing stages.

Andreas Christensen spooned over when unmarked from a corner before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg curled inches wide.

In Thursday’s earlier match, Luka Jovic snatched a last-gasp equaliser for Serbia in a 1-1 draw with Slovenia, keeping both teams in contention for a place in the last 16.

Slovenia looked on course for their first ever win at the tournament after Zan Karnicnik put them ahead in the second half, but Jovic headed in a corner in the fifth minute of stoppage time to haul Serbia level.

Slovenia are on two points from two games in Group C going into their clash with England on Tuesday, while Serbia have one point ahead of their final match in the section against Denmark.

AFP

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