England tops Denmark in Copenhagen

BY foxsports • February 9, 2011

Aston Villa pair Darren Bent and Ashley Young guided England to a 2-1 win after falling behind in an entertaining friendly against Denmark on Wednesday.

A pulsating start to the game saw both teams with chances to take the lead in the first five minutes.

First, Nicklas Bendtner showed quick feet before sending a low shot wide of the right post.

At the other end, Denmark defender William Kvist gifted a chance to Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United striker rounded goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen on the edge of the penalty box but was unable to find a way past a wall of retreating Denmark defenders.

The host made the breakthrough after eight minutes when 18-year-old Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen found Daniel Agger with a pinpoint cross and the Liverpool defender placed a header beyond the reach of Joe Hart.

England equalized just two minutes later when Bent scored a simple tap-in following fine work on the right wing from Theo Walcott.

The impressive Eriksen saw a left-footed drive cannon back off the post after 33 minutes. Another teenager, Jack Wilshire, also caught the eye with an assured performance in his midfield holding role before being replaced at half time.

England manager Fabio Capello declared himself pleased with his team's display.

"I am happy with the result and the performance of some players," said Capello. "Wilshere in the first half played with confidence and it was an interesting debut. Bent played well and worked hard to help the team. It's a different position to where he plays for Aston Villa and he scored a goal and had chances for a second."

Dennis Rommedahl drew a fine save from Hart after 37 minutes, the Manchester City goalkeeper flicking out his right foot to deflect the effort wide.

Frank Lampard, England's captain for the day in the absence through injury of Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard, had a goal correctly disallowed for offside after 40 minutes.

At the start of the second half, Ashley Cole marked his 87th appearance for his country - making him England's most-capped fullback of all time - by taking over the captaincy from Lampard, who was substituted.

Chances were less frequent in a second half pockmarked with substitutions. Sorensen did however have to react bravely to block Bent's close-range header after 50 minutes.

Rommedahl shot weakly after Eriksen split the English defense with a back-heel in the 65th minute.

England then avenged its 4-1 defeat from 2005, the last time the teams met, with a winning goal after 68 minutes. Halftime substitute Ashley Young slotted a side-footed shot past Sorensen from the edge of the penalty after the Danish defense allowed the winger too much space to pick up a simple pass from Glen Johnson.

Denmark's star performer, Christian Eriksen, was downbeat about the result but happy with the team's performance.

"I think it went pretty good although it is not so much fun to lose," said Eriksen.


Denmark: Thomas Sorensen, Christian Poulsen, Mathias Jorgensen (Simon Kjaer, 46), Daniel Agger, Simon Busk Poulsen (Daniel Wass, 46), Lars Jacobsen (Michael Silberbauer, 59), William Kvist Jorgensen (Martin Vingaard, 89), Christian Eriksen, Michael Krohn-Dehli (Nicklas Pedersen, 69), Dennis Rommedahl (Thomas Enevoldsen, 80), Nicklas Bendtner.

England: Joe Hart, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole (Leighton Baines, 80), Jack Wilshere (Gareth Barry, 46), Michael Dawson (Gary Cahill, 59), John Terry, Theo Walcott (Stewart Downing,67) Frank Lampard (Scott Parker, 46), Darren Bent, Wayne Rooney (Ashley Young, 46), James Milner.

Associated Press writer Paul O'Mahony in Stockholm contributed to this report.

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