Denmark beats Norway 2-0 in Euro 2012 qualifier
Two first-half goals from Nicklas Bendtner earned Denmark a 2-0 win over Norway in their Euro 2012 qualifier in Group H on Tuesday.
Bendtner opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when he stopped his run to collect a pass from Dennis Rommedahl before rifling the ball home. He then beat Norway goalkeeper Rune Almenning Jarstein in the 44th minute from around 25 meters (yards) with a low shot.
They were Bendtner's first goals in 14 months for Denmark.
Leader Portugal, Denmark and Norway all have 13 points in a tightly-contested group of five teams, which also features Iceland and Cyprus.
In pouring rain, the Danes pressed the visitors from the first minute and easily found ways through the Norwegian midfield.
Though Norway had its first chance in the 15th minute with a shot by Mohammed Abdellaoue, Denmark dominated the game at the Parken stadium. Bendtner set up Christian Eriksen in the 52nd minute for a shot over the bar, while further efforts attempts by Niki Zimling and Daniel Agger quickly followed.
John Arne Riise, Havard Nordtveit and Erik Huseklepp tried their luck for Norway, but there was no way past goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.
Denmark coach Morten Olsen was pleased with his team's performance.
''I think we are all relieved,'' he said. ''The chances (of qualifying) have now grown.''
As for Bendtner, who last month joined Sunderland on loan from Premier League rival Arsenal, Olsen said. ''Nick played a great game.''
The visitors lined up a defensive team that wasn't able to go on the attack after Denmark's goals.
''We played a bad first half and when they got (the second) goal just before halftime, it turned out to be a difficult task,'' coach Egil Olsen said. ''The Danes were better than us.''
Denmark: Thomas Sorensen, Niki Zimling, Simon Kjaer, Daniel Agger, Nicolai Boilesen, Lars Jacobsen, William Kvist, Christian Eriksen, Michael Krohn-Dehli (68, Lasse Schone), Dennis Rommedahl (64, Michael Silberbauer), Nicklas Bendtner (89, Nicklas Pedersen).
Norway: Rune Almenning Jarstein, Tom Hogli, Kjetil Waehler (46, Vadim Demidov), Brede Hangeland, Espen Ruud, Erik Huseklepp (68, John Carew), Alexander Tettey, Havard Nordtveit, Christian Grindheim, John Arne Riise (60, Daniel Braathen), Mohammed Abdellaoue.