Qantas Joeys ready for desperate Denmark

The Qantas Joeys’ future in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico is all in their own hands as they prepare to take on a desperate Denmark in their final Group F match at Queretaro’s Estadio Corregidora on Sunday evening (local time).

The Qantas Joeys- future in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico is all in their own hands as they prepare to take on a desperate Denmark in their final Group F match at Queretaro-s Estadio Corregidora on Sunday evening (local time).

Heading into the final day of matches in Group F, the Qantas Joeys currently sit in third place, equal on points but behind by one on goal difference to second placed Côte d'Ivoire, who will meet group leaders Brazil in the other match. Denmark have lost both of their matches in the tournament so far, meaning they must defeat the Qantas Joeys by three goals or more to avoid an early exit.

For the Qantas Joeys, the permutations are simple yet somewhat complex. A win would guarantee Australia a place in the knockout stage and could see them finish as high as first depending on the result between Côte d'Ivoire and Brazil, while a draw against Denmark or a third placed finish appears likely to also be enough to see them progress to the next round.

The only way the Qantas Joeys could be sent packing is if they lose by three or more goals to the Danes, which is a scenario Head Coach Jan Versleijen is fully aware of.

“It-s very obvious that this game is a deciding game, in the fact that it will decide if you can qualify for the next round,” Versleijen said.

“We know Denmark has to win this game in order to qualify and I expect a very offensive and attacking Danish team. We know what they (Denmark) have to do and hopefully we can benefit from that.”

Despite the fact that Denmark have conceded seven goals in their two games, while they have found the back of the net twice, Versleijen is not taking that as any indication whatsoever that a positive result for the Joeys will be a given. Indeed, the Danes were one of the standout teams in the European qualification tournament, and they also led Côte d'Ivoire 2-0 before being overrun.

“They (Denmark) had a very good European campaign and they showed in that campaign that they have a solid defence, but playing at World Cup level is another step up again and it shows the strength of this tournament so far,” Versleijen said.

“In their (Denmark-s) game against Brazil when it was still nil-all, they had some good chances and also against Côte d'Ivoire they scored two goals and had some other opportunities to score, so I rate them very highly.”

The Joeys have grown in confidence with each game they have played at this World Cup. Right across the field, the Joeys showed what they are capable of against Brazil and they will need to put it all together to get a favourable result against Denmark, Versleijen insisting that each game from here on in is a cut throat final.

“We got a more or less lucky victory against Côte d'Ivoire and that helped the players a lot in their confidence, and then we played a very good game against Brazil, creating a number of chances and also for some parts of the game, dominating,” Versleijen said.

“It-s always a pity when you lose but I don-t feel the players were that much disappointed by the result (against Brazil). I think they got more confidence about the way they played and I can actually see a positive effect from the Brazil game, and hopefully we can take that performance into the game against Denmark.”

Versleijen should have a full squad to pick from for the match, attacking midfielder Hernan Espindola having recovered from a corked thigh, while Teeboy Kamara has seemingly shrugged off an ankle problem that kept him from being available for the Brazil match.

A point will be enough for Australia to go through, but that notion will not be entering the minds of the Joeys regardless of Denmark needing to force the issue from the outset, Versleijen adamant that his side will be going for all three.

“It-s up to us to make it an attacking game because I don-t think we should just try to defend and hope they don-t score. We also have an attacking mindset,” Versleijen said.

In contrast to the Qantas Joeys- opening two games, which were played on the unfamiliar artificial surface, Sunday-s match will be played on real grass at the Estadio Corregidora. The Qantas Joeys will only get their first look at the stadium and the surface when they arrive for the game as some heavy showers prevented either team from being permitted to hold their final training sessions at the ground.

Kick-Off is at 6:00pm local time (9:00am AEST on Monday 27 June 2011).

FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 - Group F Qantas Joeys v Denmark Sunday 26 June 2011, Estadio Corregidora Kick-Off: 6:00pm local time (9:00am AEST, Monday 27 June) Referee: Diego Abal (Argentina)

Qantas Joeys squad: 1.Paul IZZO (gk), 2.Jake MONACO, 3.Connor CHAPMAN (c), 4.Tom KING, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Yianni PERKATIS, 7.Hernan ESPINDOLA, 8.Mitch COOPER, 9.Dylan TOMBIDES, 10.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 11.Luke REMINGTON, 14.Milos DEGENEK, 15.Anthony PROIA, 16.Stefan MAUK, 17.Jacob MELLING, 18.Daniel SADAKA (gk), 19.Mitchell OXBORROW, 20.Nicholas ANSELL, 21.Riley WOODCOCK

Denmark squad: 1.Oliver KORCH (gk), 2.Mads AAQUIST, 3.Frederik HOLST, 4.Nicolai JOHANNESSEN, 5.Riza DURMISI, 6.Patrick OLSEN, 7.Christian NORGAARD, 8.Lasse CHRISTENSEN, 9.Kenneth ZOHORE, 10.Viktor FISCHER, 11.Danny AMANKWAA, 12.Patrick JENSEN, 13.Pierre HOJBJERG, 14.Ashoya NISSEN, 15.Rochester SORENSEN, 16.Christian SCHULTZ (gk), 17.Yurary POULSEN, 18.Lucas ANDERSEN, 19.Jacob BARRETT, 20.Kristian LINDBERG, 21.Casper RADZA (gk)