Denmark and Australia drew 1-1 in their final Group F contest in sunny Queretaro on Monday, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Scandinavians from exiting the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico at the first hurdle. Brazil finish top of the group and will take on Ecuador in the last 16, Côte d'Ivoire (second) will meet France in a mouth-watering contest. Australia go through in third place and will face familiar opposition in the form of Uzbekistan.
The game began anew today in Queretaro with the pitch still a bit soggy from the heavy rains that forced the contest to be abandoned last night. There were precious few clear-cut opportunities in the opening period, but Denmark looked the better side in the early exchanges.
The Danes looked impressive, controlling most of possession and bossing the tempo of play. On the half-hour mark, the Europeans had a great chance to score through Vigen Christensen, but Aussie keeper Paul Izzo was up to the task.
They made their superior play count for something soon enough, however. In the 35th minute, Denmark took the lead through Rochester Sorensen who got on the end of an accurate cross from Jacob Barrett. Things quickly went from bad to worse for the Australians too as, just one minute after going down a goal, Yianni Perkatis was given his marching orders for a rough challenge near the penalty area.
There was some lively play in the second half from both sides. The Danes hit the crossbar through Sorensen, but they were punished in the end for their wasteful finishing. With the final whistle approaching, the ten-man Australians clicked to life and scored through Luke Remington.
With a share of the spoils, the AFC representatives now move on to the round of 16 and a date with Uzbekistan while Denmark miss out on the knockout stages and head for home early. Brazil took top spot in the section yesterday and will meet Ecuador next while the Ivorians finish second and set up a date with France.