Nicklas Bendtner and Michael Krohn-Dehli scored to give Denmark a 2-0 win over Sweden on Friday in a friendly that served as the start of both teams’ preparations for next year’s European Championship.
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Denmark pressed the visitors from the start but didn’t break the deadlock until the 35th minute when Bendtner received a cross from Lars Jacobsen, calmly downed the ball in the area and side-footed past Sweden goalie Johan Wiland. Krohn-Dehli added the second goal in the 79th after a Danish counterattack.
”We had the game, we controlled it,” Denmark coach Morten Olsen said, adding that ”we have some great opportunities” for succcess at Euro 2012.
Emir Bajrami was inches from an equalizer in the 42nd minute when his shot bounced off goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen’s knee and hit the post.
AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had several attempts for Sweden, and forced Sorensen to tip his effort over the net with his fingertips in the 57th.
”I don’t think we were as aggressive as we usually are in competitive matches,” Ibrahimovic said. ”We can do a lot better than this.”
The Scandinavian neighbors have both qualified for next year’s tournament in Ukraine and Poland. Denmark snatched an automatic spot at the expense of Portugal by winning Group H, and Sweden finished as the runner-up with the best record across the nine groups.
Sweden plays England at Wembley on Tuesday and the Danes host Finland, also in friendlies.
Denmark: Thomas Sorensen, Daniel Agger, Simon Busk Poulsen, Lars Jacobsen, William Kvist, Christian Eriksen (Lasse Schone, 56), Michael Krohn-Dehli, Dennis Rommedahl (Daniel Wass, 46), Nicklas Bendtner (Nicolai Jorgensen, 70), Andreas Bjelland (Jores Okore, 61), Niki Zimling (Christian Poulsen, 82).
Sweden: Johan Wiland, Mikael Lustig (Andreas Granqvist, 61), Olof Mellberg, Emir Bajrami (Christian Wilhelmsson, 46), Sebastian Larsson, Anders Svensson (Samuel Holmen, 84), Kim Kallstrom (Rasmus Elm, 46), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Alexander Gerndt, 63), Johan Elmander (Ola Toivonen, 56), Behrang Safari, Jonas Olsson.