Knudsen long throws look dangerous as Denmark exit World Cup in shoot-out

PUBLISHED: 23:00 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 23:25 01 July 2018

Denmark's Jonas Knudsen jumps over Croatia's Mario Mandzukic during the round of 16 match between Croatia and Denmarrk. Photo: PA

Denmark's Jonas Knudsen jumps over Croatia's Mario Mandzukic during the round of 16 match between Croatia and Denmarrk. Photo: PA

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Jonas Knudsen became the 10th Ipswich Town player to feature at a World Cup as Denmark suffered a last 16 penalty shoot-out defeat to Croatia tonight.

Croatia's Ante Rebic, left, tries to stop Denmark's Jonas Knudsen during the round of 16 match between Croatia and Denmark. Photo: PACroatia's Ante Rebic, left, tries to stop Denmark's Jonas Knudsen during the round of 16 match between Croatia and Denmark. Photo: PA

Left-back Knudsen – who has had an eventual couple of weeks after jetting home from Russia during the group stages following the premature birth of his first child – started and completed the full 120 minutes, earning only his fourth cap.

MORE: The nine previous Town players who featured at a World Cup

It was his long throw which led to defender Mathias Jorgensen firing Denmark into a very early lead, before Mario Mandzukic levelled with less than four minutes on the clock.

Knudsen’s long throws have rarely proved effective for Town and last season he stopped doing them altogether. Tonight, however, they were delivered with a far flatter trajectory and continually caused Croatia problems from both sides of the pitch as Denmark looked the more likely to win it.

BIG INTERVIEW: Knudsen on growing up in Denmark, his ‘Mad Dog’ nickname and more

Luka Modric then squandered a chance to win Croatia the game from the spot in extra-time when Kasper Schmeichel repelled his effort.

Schmeichel also saved twice in the shoot-out, but Croatia keeper Danijel Subasic went one better making saves from Christian Eriksen, Lasse Schone and Nicolai Jorgensen to allow Ivan Rakitic to win it with his side’s final kick.

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