Kasper Hjulmand says he and his Denmark players are bitterly disappointed to go out of Euro 2020 after a controversial penalty decision in their defeat to England in the semi-finals.
England were awarded a spot-kick when Raheem Sterling went down in the box in the first half of extra-time and although Kasper Schmeichel saved Harry Kane’s effort, the striker converted the rebound.
VAR decided the decision was not a clear and obvious error, but Denmark head coach Hjulmand hit out at the call from referee Danny Makkelie.
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“It was a penalty which should not have been a penalty,” he said.
“It is something which annoys me right now.
We are very disappointed. You cannot pass by the ball on the pitch which has so much influence on the game.
“I know it sounds weird right now but I cannot help having these feelings. One thing is to lose a game, it happens, but losing this way is disappointing because these guys have fought a lot.
“It feels bitter but we have to digest this before we can discuss these feelings. It's a bitter way to leave the tournament.
“The way we lost makes it harder to understand why we lost. I have to be careful with what I say.
“We have an amazing group and we definitely can do something great again.
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“Maybe it is easier for me to say how I feel in a few days."
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Denmark’s hopes of emulating their famous 1992 European Championship winning team might be over, but the Danes did themselves proud after a horrific start to the tournament.
Christian Eriksen’s heart attack on the pitch in their first group game horrified the players and the football world and Hjulmand paid tribute to the support his team has received since the incident.
“I can't describe how much I admire the technical staff behind these players, they have been through so much,” he said.
We have two people from the staff who saved the life of one of our best players.
“We have been fighting like crazy and played good football and I am grateful for Denmark, the entire nation.
“We needed the empathy when that happened with Christian, we have been receiving a lot of love and support and it was amazing to feel.
“Unfortunately we did not get to the final but we will attack again and our future is full of hope and belief.
“These guys are outstanding and the whole nation can be proud, they are an amazing squad and they have done an amazing job. They have made Denmark proud.”
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