SAMARA, Russia (Reuters) - Denmark coach Age Hareide admitted his side were fortunate to have four points from their first two World Cup Group C matches after a 1-1 draw with Australia in Samara on Thursday.
Talisman Christian Eriksen had given Denmark the lead before a Mile Jedinak penalty, awarded following VAR consultation, earned the Socceroos a point.
Denmark beat Peru 1-0 in their first game and Hareide said he was pleased with their points haul.
“I can say that we are very happy to have these four points,” he told reporters.
“They produced chances when we made mistakes. We lost the ball in the last third and they counter attacked on us.
“We lost too many balls and we had to run too much so our game was restless. You know what? The World Cup is tough.”
Jedinak’s penalty came after the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee, who alerted referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz to a handball from Yussuf Poulsen.
Poulsen also gave away a penalty in the win over Peru, once again after VAR involvement. Peru missed that spot-kick but the Danes have still been left baffled by the handling of VAR at the tournament.
Eriksen did not question the penalty decision but believes VAR should have been used to award Poulsen a free kick in the build-up to the handball.
“After today I don’t like the system,” the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder said.
“Two matches in a row against us. We thought about it afterwards and there was a foul against Poulsen before. We should have had the free kick before that.”
“If you want to use for pens, you should also use for free kicks. Two in a row? That is bitter!”
Hareide also thought there should have been a penalty given for a foul on substitute Andreas Cornelius.
“He was pulled down by his shirt. Everybody could see it,” said Hareide, who spoke to the referee on the pitch after the game.
“There was a situation the referee should have dealt with.”
The Danes face France in their final Group C match on Tuesday, knowing a win guarantees them a place in the last 16 and Hareide is targeting improvements.
“We lost too many balls in midfield and that caused us problems,” he said.
“We need to get better with our passing and get more rhythm in our play. Many of our choices today were not good enough and that was the problem.”
Reporting by Jack Tarrant, editing by Ed Osmond