Australia 'lucky' that VAR system gave penalty - Denmark's Christian Eriksen

SAMARA, Russia -- Denmark's Christian Eriksen described the penalty awarded to Australia in their 1-1 draw as "lucky," after the video assistant referee system intervened in their Group C on Thursday.

Yussuf Poulsen was penalised for handling the ball in the area as he challenged for a cross, and while the Australian protests were initially waved away, referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz was advised to check the pitchside screen.

Mile Jedinak scored the resultant spot-kick, equalising Eriksen's goal in the opening stages which Denmark dominated, but they couldn't break through again to claim a victory that would have almost certainly confirmed their place in the second round.

"If you look at the first 20 minutes, it should have been a win," said Eriksen after the game. "But Australia had a bit more the upper hand after that, and of course they were lucky with the decision. That's how it is.

"There is a handball in the penalty area, but it's not really an unnatural situation. If you go in for a duel of course you're going to use your hands to jump. But the decision has to be correct -- maybe it's too correct."

Denmark coach Age Hareide agreed with the penalty decision but said he believes video technology is removing the "charm" from the World Cup.

"To me, it was probably correct but it does remove a bit of the charm of football to have such a precise system," he said. "Goal-line technology is OK but when it is so detailed, we know how tough football is, it has to be a very clear situation and I don't know how it will work out for football in the long run."

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Eriksen's strike, a half-volley in the seventh minute after being set up by a brilliant lay-off by Nicolai Jorgensen, was as superb as we've come to expect from the Tottenham midfielder.

"It was mostly instinct," Eriksen said. "I just made the run into the box and luckily Nico saw the ball in behind and passed it backwards. Luckily I hit it very well: I heard a few of the other guys saying I was smiling before I hit the ball. I was just in a good position, and I hit it right."

The temptation must be for Eriksen's colleagues to rely on his excellence, but Borussia Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney believes they have struck the right balance.

"When you put a great player in a great position, great things often happen," Delaney said. That's what happened today. Of course he's a big weapon for us.

"It's a fine line, not going with him all the time. The teams we've met so far know who is our biggest player, but he is not afraid to take that responsibility. None of the teams have succeeded 100 percent [in stopping him]. I think we have a good balance."

Denmark beat Peru in their opening game, so they go into their final fixture against France knowing that a point will ensure their progression to the knockout stages.

"We have everything to play for," said Eriksen. "We still have four points, we're in a good position, and we need to stay there of course. France will be a good game to play. They have a strong side: they have about three starting XIs they can play. We'll go to the game with a lot of confidence.

"Every game is so tough and so tight. There are possibilities at both ends, and with VAR there's always extra possibility to get something."