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Euro 2024: England struggle to draw 1-1 with impressive Denmark, leaves Southgate facing serious questions

England and Denmark played to a tense 1-1 draw in their Euro 2024 clash on Thursday, with Harry Kane and Morten Hjulmand scoring pivotal goals, setting the stage for decisive matches ahead in the tournament.

football Euro 2024: England struggle to draw 1-1 with impressive Denmark, leaves Southgate facing serious questions snt
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First Published Jun 20, 2024, 11:30 PM IST

In a captivating Euro 2024 Group C encounter in Frankfurt, England and Denmark played to a tense 1-1 draw with Harry Kane and Morten Hjulmand scoring pivotal goals, setting the stage for decisive matches ahead in the tournament. The match highlighted England's struggles to maintain momentum and defensive solidity, prompting questions about their ability to progress deep into the competition.

With upcoming challenge against Slovenia, head coach Gareth Southgate faces the daunting task of reshaping his team's strategy and performance to secure vital points and revive their championship aspirations.

Also read: Euro 2024: First pic of Mbappe in protective mask after broken nose goes viral, fans dub him 'Captain France'

The thrilling encounter, played in front of a packed Deutsche Bank Park stadium, began with a balanced exchange of possession, and Denmark had the first significant opportunity. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fired a shot from outside the box, but it was comfortably saved by England’s goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford. The chance came courtesy of a neat setup from Rasmus Hojlund, highlighting Denmark's early intent.

England's first clear chance fell to the talented Phil Foden. The Manchester City star received the ball from Kyle Walker, skillfully evaded a Danish defender, but his attempt to curl the ball into the net went high and wide, failing to trouble Kasper Schmeichel.

The breakthrough came in the 18th minute for England. A defensive error from Victor Kristiansen allowed Kyle Walker to deliver a low cross into the box. The ball eventually found its way to captain Harry Kane, who made no mistake with a simple finish, giving England a 1-0 lead.

With this goal, Kane took his total tally for England to 67 and became the third highest goal scorer (5 goals) for the Three Lions in the Euros, just behind legendary Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney.

Despite conceding, Denmark responded impressively. They moved the ball with precision and posed a constant threat whenever they advanced. Their perseverance paid off in the 34th minute when Morten Hjulmand capitalized on a misplaced pass by Kane. The Sporting midfielder unleashed a stunning strike from 25 yards out, beating Pickford and netting his first goal for Denmark, leveling the score at 1-1.

Hjulmand's stunning equalizer marked the 13th goal scored from outside the box in this tournament, surpassing the total number of such goals in the entire group stage of Euro 2020 by one. To put that into further context, those 13 goals have been scored in just 17 of the 36 games played before the knockout rounds.

Hjulmand's goal, his first for his country, was also the longest-range strike of the competition so far, soaring past Jordan Pickford from 30.9 meters. The last goal scored from a greater distance in the Euros was Mikkel Damsgaard’s goal in the 2020 edition semi-final between the same countries at Wembley.

The Danes continued to press and finished the first half as the stronger side. Hojbjerg and Hojlund combined again, with the former testing Pickford with another shot, but the England keeper was equal to the task.

The pace of England’s play did not lift to start the second half, with the exception of a burst from Trent Alexander-Arnold from midfield, which ultimately led to nothing of note. England struggled to regain their first-half momentum, and Denmark maintained their organized defense.

Phil Foden, having moved off his left wing, nearly put England back in front in the 55th minute. His fierce low drive beat Schmeichel but cruelly struck the post, leaving the scoreline unchanged.

In a tactical move, Gareth Southgate made key substitutions in the second half, bringing on Eberechi Eze, Ollie Watkins, and Jarrod Bowen for the Manchester City midfielder, Harry Kane, and Bukayo Saka.

Also read: Euro 2024: Serbia keep hopes alive with Luka Jovic's injury time equaliser against Slovenia, secure 1-1 draw

Ollie Watkins nearly made an immediate impact after entering the match, connecting with a precise through ball from Jude Bellingham. However, his attempt was thwarted by Kasper Schmeichel, denying England a late breakthrough.

England, however, remained second-best in many aspects, as Hojbjerg once again came close to scoring with a curled effort that Pickford could not have reached.

The 1-1 draw between England and Denmark at Euro 2024 has left both teams with a crucial point in Group C, shaping the narrative for upcoming matches. England's next challenge will be against Slovenia, while Denmark prepares to face Serbia. Earlier in Munich, Serbia salvaged their Euro 2024 campaign with a late equalizer against Slovenia, securing a 1-1 draw in the clash.

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