Australia benefitted from a controversial VAR decision to earn a crucial 1-1 draw against Denmark in Samara and keep alive their hopes of progression from Group C.
Christian Eriksen opened the scoring for Denmark, who had beaten Peru in their opening game, inside seven minutes, the Tottenham player lashing a powerful half-volley beyond Mat Ryan in the Australia goal after a clever lay-off from Nicolai Jørgensen.
Australia drew level before half-time. Mathew Leckie rose to meet a corner but his header was blocked almost immediately by the arm of Yussuf Poulsen. After a VAR check, the referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz pointed to the spot. Mile Jedinak slotted home the penalty, meaning he has scored Australia’s last five goals in competitive matches, with a run of four penalties preceded by a free-kick. He was also spot-on against France in the opening game.
The second half was a frenetic affair though neither side was able to force a winner, with Kasper Schmeichel making a fine block to deny Leckie with two minutes to go.
France face Peru later on Thursday in Ekaterinburg in the second Group C game of the day, with the decisive final group games next Tuesday.