International: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg started in defeat as Australia knock Denmark out of World Cup
In a rather shocking victory, Australia defeated Denmark 1-0 in their final group-stage game to qualify for the Round of 16, with the Danes being knocked out of the competition. (h/t BBC)
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg started for his country in the middle of the park, but could not help in providing the spark that they needed.
Denmark needed a win to progress but a goal from Mathew Leckie in the 60th minute was more than enough to see the Aussies proceed to the next round as runners-up, behind leader France on goal difference.
Hojbjerg started in all three games for his country in this World Cup and will be disappointed to exit like this. The midfielder also did not register any goal or assist in this tournament.
The 27-year-old has been phenomenal for Spurs this season. He has played in 21 games in all competitions for the Lilywhites, scoring four goals and registering the same assists.
Exit from the tournament means that the midfielder will now likely return back to north London soon. On a positive note, he will have a good time to rest before the hectic second half of the season begins.
Hojbjerg, along with Uruguay international, Rodrigo Bentancur has been the go-to midfield for Conte this season and both players are expected to play important roles in helping the club achieve their objectives for this season.
Uruguay have a do-or-die game against Ghana next, and while both our central midfielders not making the last 16 will be sad to see, it will at least ensure they are at lesser risk of fatigue or injuries on international duty.
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Midfield is an area, after all, where we are devoid of quality in depth. Hojbjerg, 27, still has years left in his legs and much to look forward to. Hopefully, he can make appearances in two more World Cups and European Championships to further cement his legacy with the national team.