Over-emotional Denmark lacked quality, says dejected Hjulmand

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Group D - Australia v Denmark - Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah, Qatar - November 30, 2022 Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

AL WAKRAH, Qatar, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said his side got too emotional as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Australia on Wednesday to crash out of the World Cup after finishing bottom of Group D.

The Danes started well and dominated possession but Australia blunted their attacks and hit them with a counter-attack from which Mathew Leckie scored the decisive goal.

"We haven't played with the tempo and the rhythm in our in our own game. I think we started pretty well tonight, with good positions. And then you see the structures just go out of the match," Hjulmand told a news conference.

"And it's too emotional and too little quality, and it's the only thing we shouldn't do against Australia in a match like this, go in with big emotions and lots of fight, we have to play with quality."

That quality was sorely lacking in Qatar where Denmark drew with Tunisia and lost to France and Australia.

"I think we're one thing for sure is that we didn't play our best. I think the quality was okay against France. I think it was not a great, great performance, but it was okay," Hjulmand said.

"I think it was par in terms of playing one of the best teams but the two other games? Not good enough."

His side head home now with plenty of work to do before qualifying starts for Euro 2024.

"It's important just to get a bit of distance to it, so I can think rationally, I can't do that right now. The emotions are so big, the frustrations are too big. We did not reach our level, there's no doubt about that," Hjulmand said.

Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Ed Osmond

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