July 20th, 2024

England fails to convince in 1-1 draw with Denmark though should advance at Euro 2024

By Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press on June 20, 2024.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – England was far from convincing in a 1-1 draw with Denmark on Thursday even if it likely ensured advancing to the round of 16 at the European Championship.

Harry Kane gave England another fast start at Euro 2024, scoring it the 18th minute, but the captain was substituted off in the second half as the team faded. England coach Gareth Southgate removed his forward line in a triple substitution with 25 minutes to play.

Denmark leveled in the 34th when Morten Hjulmand fired in a powerful low shot from long distance, after Kane gave away the ball in defense.

The Danes made England look ragged in the second half, attacking the end from where English fans’ anxiety and jeers increased late in the game.

England has four points from two games, after edging past Serbia 1-0 in its first match. That points tally always has been enough to advance in the 24-team Euros format.

Still, England can finish in any position from first to third in the Group C standings after playing unbeaten Slovenia next Tuesday.

Slovenia drew 1-1 with Serbia earlier Thursday, four days after getting the same result against Denmark. Serbia and Denmark also play Tuesday evening.

Southgate had defended his players from what seemed like unfair criticism for the nervy nature of the win against Serbia, ceding some control after Jude Bellingham’s early goal.

Bellingham was subdued Thursday and Southgate removed the stellar strike trio of Kane, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka in one sweep. Jarrod Bowen, Eberechi Eze, Ollie Watkins came on and within two minutes Watkins almost scored with a shot after a darting run.

Southgate looked flat-out furious in the 85th after England repeatedly gave away the ball and surrendered a series chances to Denmark.

The England coach barked at his players from the dugout with both index fingers pointing to his temples, urging them to think.

England seized the lead on sleepiness in the Denmark defense. Hesitation by Victor Kristiansen let right-back Kyle Walker surge past him to steal the ball for a pass across the goalmouth.

When the ball reached Kane he poked home a left-footed shot for a record extending 64th England goal for the captain.

Kane had his part in Denmark’s leveler. His unwise pass out of defense soon went to Hjulmand, who strode forward to fire a low shot past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and in the net off his right-hand post.

The game was played beneath a closed stadium roof on slippery turf that cut up after steady rain this week.

The teams had royal watchers from the stands with the king of Denmark, Frederik X, and future king of England, Prince William, at the game.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

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