Mikkel Damsgaard handed Denmark a shock lead against England in their Euro 2020 semi-final with a stunning free kick, but the goal should not have stood, according to FIFA’s Laws of the Game.
The midfielder struck a wonderful effort from 30 yards after Mason Mount had conceded a foul outside the penalty area.
The ball flew over the England wall and beyond goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. The Everton shot-stopper received some criticism by commentators and pundits for not stopping the effort, which went in slightly left-of-centre of the goal.
But Denmark appeared to breach FIFA’s rule book in the build up to Damsgaard stepping up.
Attacking players are not meant to be within a yard of the defensive wall until the ball is struck and is back in play.
Denmark set up a three-man wall just next to England’s. However, they moved closer to the Three Lions players just before the ball was struck.
The incident was noticed by Twitter user David Mooney, who quoted a section from FIFA’s Laws of the Game.
“Where three or more defending team players form a ‘wall,” they say, “all attacking team players must remain at least 1m (1 yrd) from the ‘wall’ until the ball is in play.”
England had set up a five-man wall, which included Kalvin Phillips lying on the ground to prevent a low shot.
Declan Rice, John Stones, Harry Maguire and Harry Kane were the players attempting to block Damsgaard’s kick.
But Damsgaard’s strike was excellent and it would have felt incredibly harsh to rule it out.
Gareth Southgate’s side had started nervously but equalised just before half-time.
Bukayo Saka’s cross was turned into his own net by Denmark defender Simon Kjaer.
“Most definitely [Pickford should have done better].
“We feared the worst when they lined up.
“The goal was coming, Denmark were getting through us far too easily, it’s a long way out and I always think if the ball goes in the corner there’s no problem. The ball goes in the centre of the net, and the goalkeeper has to do better.
“His big problem is that ultimately he’s blocked, he doesn’t see it until late, then he goes late himself.
“But he has to get in a position where he can go earlier, it’s right above him and he’ll be really disappointed.”
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Author: Sam Smith
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