England held by Denmark after Hjulmand stunner



Fri, 21 Jun 2024 - 08:32 GMT


Fri, 21 Jun 2024 - 08:32 GMT

England's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their first goal with Kieran Trippier REUTERS/Lee Smith

England's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their first goal with Kieran Trippier REUTERS/Lee Smith

(Reuters) - England must wait to secure a berth in the knockout stage of the European Championship after a 1-1 draw with Denmark on Thursday, a game that Harry Kane brought to life with an early goal but which ended with his side clinging on for a single point.


It was a second successive lacklustre performance from Gareth Southgate's men, who squandered the chance to become the first England team to win their two opening games at a Euro tournament.


The draw leaves the 2020 runners-up at the top of Group C on four points, while Denmark are second on two after Slovenia's 1-1 draw with Serbia earlier.


"We know we can improve," Kane said. "I know there will probably be loads of noise and a bit of disappointment back home but we experienced this in the last Euros as well."


The game got off to a sloppy start with wayward passes from both teams, quickly silencing the sea of red and white fans, a crowd that included the Prince of Wales and Denmark's King Frederik.


But Kane, who has now scored more goals at major tournaments than any other England player with 13, got England on the scoreboard in the 18th minute when Kyle Walker swooped in to disposess Victor Kristiansen and fired in a cross that eventually fell to Kane.


The captain lunged and sent a left-footed shot from close range into the bottom left corner. The goal draws him level with Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney as the players to score for England at the most major tournaments, with four apiece.


Denmark were the better team after that, however, and an equaliser felt inevitable.


The Danes capitalised on England's sloppy play in the 34th minute when Kane's pass up the field from a throw-in went to Kristiansen, who passed to Morten Hjulmand. The 24-year-old launched a rocket from about 30 yards out that ricocheted off the left post and into the net.


"It hasn't quite dawned on me yet -- to score a goal for Denmark at a major finals is really, really big, so of course I'm proud," Hjulmand said.


Denmark's midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg felt his side should have won, however.


"I would have traded it for three points," he said of his man of the match award. "We played well, we played smart, annoying that we couldn't get one to go in. We have a lot we can take with us, we have to keep looking ahead and do it, we have time."


Looking to inject some fresh legs and energy, Southgate took off Kane, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka with about 20 minutes to play and replaced them with Ollie Watkins, Jarrod Bowen and Eberechi Eze.


Both teams squandered chances, however, the narrowest miss coming from Foden, who rang a shot off the post in the second half in a far more lively performance from him on Thursday than in the Serbia game.


Jude Bellingham, who scored England's lone goal in their 1-0 opening win against Serbia in a dazzling first-half performance, barely factored on Thursday against Denmark's physical midfield of Hojbjerg and Hjulmand.


Within a few minutes of the final whistle, the England fans had largely cleared out, while the Denmark end remained full of celebrating supporters.


"We understand the supporters' frustration from the outside, but as a staff and a team we need to stay together," said England defender Kieran Trippier, who won his 50th cap. "We know as players we can take it up so many levels."


England take on Slovenia in their final group game on Tuesday, while the Danes face Serbia on the same day, with all four teams still technically able to progress in the tournament.




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