Another VAR penalty decision helped Australia to a 1-1 draw with Denmark in their World Cup Group C clash in Samara on Thursday afternoon.
Denmark took the lead on seven minutes through Christian Eriksen’s superb half-volley, before VAR came into play as Yussuf Poulsen was adjudged to have handled from Mathew Leckie’s header.
Mile Jedinak stepped up to score his second of the tournament (38), and despite Australia impressing in the second half, it stayed 1-1.
Australia must now win their final group game to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout stage, with France facing Peru at 4pm in Group C’s other clash on matchday two.
Denmark, knowing a win would secure qualification to the knockout stages, started well, and took the lead in superb fashion. Nicolai Jorgensen’s spin and the assist was slammed home by Eriksen from 15 yards as the ball rose difficulty on the half volley.
Jorgensen should have made it 2-0 midway through the half, but he headed wide from Henrik Dalsgaard’s right-wing cross from close range.
Then came the controversy as Leckie’s header hit the flailing hand of his marker Poulsen; Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz went to VAR as the ball went out of play upfield, before awarding the spot kick.
Jedinak, who scored in a similar circumstance in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by France, made no mistake, slotting home after Kasper Schmeichel had attempted to put him off.
Australia upped the ante in the second half and went closest through the commanding Aaron Mooy, whose 25-yard effort whistled just high and wide of Schmeichel’s goal.
Schmeichel then made two saves at the death to deny Australia, first from Daniel Arzani’s angled effort, before Leckie’s volley into the ground was superbly held by the Leicester goalkeeper.