AL RAYYAN, Qatar: Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand says his side need to find another speed against France when they face the defending champions in a crucial Group D clash on Saturday, after falling behind the tally points she would have liked at this stage.
The Danes were held to a goalless draw against Tunisia on Tuesday while France crushed Australia 4-1 to top the group and could qualify for the knockout stages with one game to lose if victory against the Hjulmand team.
Denmark, who beat France in 2002 to end their campaign in the group stage, have beaten Les Bleus twice in the Nations League this year – 2-1 in Paris and 2-0 in Copenhagen – and Hjulmand backed them to pick up a win again, despite their starting opponents being among the tournament favorites.
“Tomorrow’s game is obviously important for us after the start we had. He is an opponent who belongs to the very, very high level of football. The quality and talent they have in France at the moment is spectacular,” Hjulmand told reporters on Friday.
“The way they played (against Australia) was also a bit different from the two games we played against them. I have a lot of respect for France, but I also know how strong we are. We have tested them several times.
“Obviously it’s a new tournament, a bigger tournament. But we know that if we do our best we have a chance of getting a good result, and that’s what we’re aiming for. To be able to do that , you have to take a big step forward in quality from the first game.
French striker Olivier Giroud, 36, equalized Thierry Henry on 51 international goals after scoring twice against Australia, and Hjulmand was wary of the threat posed by the AC Milan striker.
“It’s a pleasure to see more and more attackers at an older age using the experience of how to move around the box and how to be dangerous, to have more composure in their way of playing and their position,” he said. said Hjulmand.
“He’s probably even better than he was before… France have an incredible number of top players.”
The World Cup so far has featured several marathon games, with up to seven or eight minutes of stoppage time regularly added in one or both halves to make up for lost time for goal celebrations , substitutions, VAR checks and injuries.
The increased emphasis on actual playing time was not announced in advance by FIFA and Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen said the players were caught off guard by the move.
“It’s new for us, we didn’t know there would be so much added time,” Eriksen said.
“We hadn’t heard of it and nobody said anything about it. We knew it when we saw the first matches being played. It was something that could have been mentioned way in advance.
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