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Knudsen Makes World Cup Debut But Denmark Exit on Penalties
Sunday, 1st Jul 2018 22:05

Blues defender Jonas Knudsen played the full 120 minutes for Denmark as they exited the World Cup on penalties to Croatia following a 1-1 draw in their round-of-16 tie in Nizhny Novgorod.

The 25-year-old, who was winning his fourth cap and making his first appearance at the tournament, became the 10th Town player to appear at a World Cup finals.

Knudsen made an immediate impact with one of his long throws leading to his side opening the scoring in the first minute via Martin Jorgensen. However, the Croats equalised in the fourth minute through Mario Mandzukic.

The former Esbjerg fB man was among Denmark’s more impressive performers with his long throws - which have only rarely been effective for the Blues - a threat throughout.

Croatia were the better side in the first half but the Danes were on top in the second and in extra-time for the most part.

Luka Modric saw a late penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel during the additional half hour but Croatia came out on top in the shoot-out, 3-2, with the Blues left-back not among those taking a kick.

Knudsen, who flew home in a private jet paid for by is team-mates during the tournament to meet his newborn daughter, will be given an additional few weeks off before joining up with the Blues squad, who start their week’s training at the Pinatar Arena Football Center, San Pedro del Pinatar, Murcia in Spain tomorrow.

Prior to Knudsen, nine players with Town had won caps at a World Cup finals. John Wark and Alan Brazil represented Scotland in 1982 when Mick Mills was England’s captain with Paul Mariner and Terry Butcher were also in Ron Greenwood’s side.

Bontcho Guentchev featured for Bulgaria in 1994, Matt Holland was in Mick McCarthy’s Republic of Ireland team in 2002, Slovenian defender Amir Karic was still a Town player at the same tournament and most recently Tommy Smith played for New Zealand in 2010.

Blues keeper Bartosz Bialkowski became the second Town player to travel to a World Cup and not play a minute when his Poland side exited at the group stage this summer, George Burley having been part of the Scotland squad in 1982 without making it on to the pitch.

In 1958 John Elsworthy was named in the Wales squad for the finals in Sweden but the FAW couldn't afford to take a full party and the left-half remained behind in the UK.

Photo: Action Images

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Marcus added 22:16 - Jul 1
He can't do those long throws at Portman Road as there is no run up space, he sometimes does it at away games. I imagine the lack of space around the pitch is something that frustrates him.

gosblue added 22:17 - Jul 1
Well done Jonas you did us proud. I hope you get a week off to spend with your new baby before the hard work begins.

Chicago_Blue added 22:23 - Jul 1
He played very well. Well done Jonas. What an experience.

Palestine added 22:53 - Jul 1
He actually played quite well. Though got badly done once. Surprised he wasn’t exploited more.
And his throws looked much more dangerous - but still always fell on an opponent’s head... not sure how that always happens.

Denmark should’ve won.

Bert added 22:54 - Jul 1
Apart from not being tight enough fir the first Croatia goal, Jonas played intelligently and was a clear threat with many of his numerous long throws. He certainly got a lot of tv coverage and was a credit to ITFC. He looked composed and reasonably assured even in the first half when he was under pressure. Well done.

Fat_Boy_Tim added 22:55 - Jul 1
One nervous clearance early on (which did lead to the Croatian goal but that’s understandable and there were several other mistakes before they scored. After that, he had a really good game. He was involved in the tactical switch that turned the game in Denmark’s favour in the second half and held his own defensively. This is the first time I’ve thought Knudsen could compete in a Premier league situation, not as a star but not out of place either. Excellent performance from Jonas, feel stupidly proud!! Unlucky but well done!

horsehollerer added 22:58 - Jul 1
Very proud of his performance. Looked very composed and caused them a lot of problems in the second half. Well done Jonas!

TimmyH added 23:04 - Jul 1
Sad that the countries who lost in the penalties probably deserved to go through, Russia offered nothing but had a game plan and Denmark were probably the better side after half time. Knudsen did okay after a nervous beginning.

itfchorry added 23:05 - Jul 1
Did Yourself, Your Country and Your Club proud

Blue56 added 23:13 - Jul 1
Playing in a game with players from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan etc. I thought he did brilliantly and wasn't overawed by the occasion. Well done Jonas you did Ipswich proud!

OwainG1992 added 23:21 - Jul 1
Fair play Jonas I felt so proud watching you playing tonight. Improved more and more as the game went on. The throw actually starting to get better in extra time too. Excited to see him rejuvenated after the experience at Portman Road this season.

Kirtonspanner added 23:41 - Jul 1
Knudsun reminds me of Graham Harby

Daz added 23:53 - Jul 1
Was nice to watch a itfc player in the world cup.

Well done Knudsun

JohnyJohnson added 00:19 - Jul 2
Currently 2nd best player of match in bbc poll, behind Casper S.

BlueBoots added 06:04 - Jul 2
First time at this World Cup I've seen a player get fouled in the penalty area, but stay on his feet to continue an attack. Think that may have cost him a move to the Premier League - far too honest to play there!

Well played, Jonas :^D Enjoy the time off with the family, and hoping and looking forward to seeing you back in a Town shirt this season.

Radlett_blue added 06:53 - Jul 2
Amir Karic - Town legend!

trncbluearmy added 07:29 - Jul 2
Boy did good

Deserves a big welcome back to FPR

rfretwell added 07:45 - Jul 2
Impressive WC debut Jonas, even stopping Midric in his track. Loved watching it, yelling at the screen at times!

essextractorboy93 added 08:46 - Jul 2
Well done Jonas! Denmark were the better side but fair play to Croatia too. I thought Knudsen did well and his long throws were causing Croatia problems. What a brilliant experience for him and hopefully he can establish himself for Denmark.

dukey44 added 09:11 - Jul 2
Marcus sorry didn’t mean the down arrow scrolling down on stupid mobile

bobble added 10:55 - Jul 2
increased his value so sell him quick!

Swn98 added 11:43 - Jul 2

Swn98 added 11:44 - Jul 2
Well played Jonas another player probably out of the door before the transfer window closes.

htb added 12:49 - Jul 2
SWN98 just because the love of your life MM has gone you don’t have to be a negative d....k head every post.

BobbyBell added 13:33 - Jul 2
Well done Jonas. Those low fast throws look much more dangerous than the high floated ones. Maybe PH will look at some serious practice sessions to make use of them There must be some routines he can come up with.

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