Denmark reaches Euros by beating Portugal 2-1

Denmark qualified for next year’s European Championship with a

2-1 victory over Portugal 2-1 on Tuesday.

The win means Denmark leapfrogged Portugal to finish atop Group

H, while the Portuguese will have to go through a playoff for a

spot in next year’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

Goals by Michael Krohn-Dehli and Nicklas Bendtner put Denmark up

2-0 by the 63rd minute before Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back

with a free kick in injury time.

”It was fantastic,” Denmark coach Morten Olsen said. ”All we

maybe missed were a couple of more goals.”

Denmark won Group H with 19 points, three better than both

Portugal and Norway. While Norway beat Cyprus 3-1, Portugal

advanced to the two-legged playoff due to a better goal

difference.

The Danes started strongly with Krohn-Dehli scoring from the

edge of the box after converting Christian Eriksen’s pass.

Portugal was under heavy pressure and didn’t manage a good

scoring opportunity until the 37th minute when Ronaldo tested

goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, who made a diving save. Nani then

capped a Portuguese attack in the 43rd by sending a shot over

goal.

Bendtner, Dennis Rommedahl and Krohn-Delhi all had chances early

on after the restart before Sorensen was again diving to save a

powerful shot by Nani in the 55th.

But Bendtner provided some comfort at the rain-soaked Parkden

Stadium by scoring from Rommedahl’s cross.

Ronaldo pulled one back in the second minute of injury time for

the Portuguese, who lost for the first time since Paulo Bento took

over as Portugal coach last year.

Denmark: Thomas Sorensen, Niki Zimling (69, Christian Poulsen),

Simon Kjaer, Andreas Bjelland, Michael Silberbauer (76, Simon Busk

Poulsen), Lars Jacobsen, William Kvist, Christian Eriksen, Michael

Krohn-Dehli, Dennis Rommedahl (86, Jakob Poulsen), Nicklas

Bendtner.

Portugal: Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Rolando, Bruno Alves,

Eliseu (65, Ricardo Quaresma), Raul Meireles, Carlos Martins (65,

Miguel Veloso), Joao Moutinho, Nani, Helder Postiga (77, Nuno

Gomes), Cristiano Ronaldo.