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cronica meciului pe site-ul uefa

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    cronica meciului pe site-ul uefa

    Late leveller keeps Denmark top
    Wednesday, 10 September 2003

    Denmark left it to the last possible moment to score an equaliser against Romania in their thrilling UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifier at the Parken stadium. The visitors had come back from a goal down to lead 2-1, until defender Martin Laursen struck in the fifth minute of added time to salvage a draw.

    Denmark control
    The result does not guarantee Denmark qualification from Group 2, but means they retain the leadership. Romania will now need to look to a play-off to qualify for Portugal. It was a bitter blow for Anghel Iordanescu's side, who wasted three golden chances to score a third goal in the closing stages.

    Tomasson included
    The build up to the game was filled with expectation, as both sides could still qualify as winners of the section. Denmark were buoyed by the inclusion of star striker Jon Dahl Tomasson, who was soon causing the visitors problems. On 12 minutes, many in the ground thought the hosts had the lead as Niclas Jensen curled a powerful free-kick into the sidenetting.

    Penalty paid
    The opening goal arrived in the 35th minute. With the Romanian defence on the back ****, Adrian Iensci felled Tomasson in the box. The AC Milan striker got up and took it himself, sending a powerful right-footed spot-kick past the outstretched arms of Bogdan Lobont.

    Chivu denied
    After the break, Romania took the game to their hosts in increasingly cavalier fashion. Ioan Ganea missed the first chance on 53 minutes following fine play from Razvan Rat. Soon after the excellent Crisitian Chivu saw a thumping header blocked on the line by Niclas Jensen.

    Mutu strikes
    On 62 minutes, Romania levelled through Adrian Mutu. Florentin Dumitru's cross from the right was deflected, but Mutu readjusted and chested the ball down. He then turned and squeezed a shot past Thomas Sørensen at the near post.

    Pancu pounces
    Romania sensed victory and ten minutes later they took the lead. Danish substitute Christian Poulsen's weak header fell straight to Daniel Pancu, who controlled the ball before striking it low and hard beyond Sørensen.

    Sørensen heroics
    Denmark's goalkeeper proved the hero in the closing stages as he repeatedly denied Romania a third. With the hosts pushing forward at every opportunity, gaps were left behind. Mutu, Florin Bratu and Florin Cernat all had chances but could not beat Sørensen.

    Late drama
    They were left to rue those misses, as, in the fifth minute of added time, Denmark equalised. Niclas Jensen's cross from the left skimmed off the head of Ebbe Sand to Laursen. The big defender controlled the ball before poking it past the advancing goalkeeper for what could be a priceless goal for Morten Olsen's team.

    ... si la eurosport ( )

    Laursen leaves it late

    A last minute goal from Martin Laursen salvaged a 2-2 draw for Denmark against Romania in their Euro 2004 Group Two qualifier on Wednesday and at least a playoff berth for the finals in Portugal. AC Milan defender Laursen equalised scrappily five minutes into injury time.

    With Denmark pushing everyone forward in the hunt for the equaliser goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen denied Romania several glorious chances.

    Danish coach Morten Olsen said: "We were lucky...too many of the players didn't dare to play football. We lost the ball far too easily and obviously that gives troubles against a strong side like Romania."

    A dubious penalty decision in favour of striker Jon Dahl Tomasson was converted by the player himself in the 35th minute to give the Danes the lead.

    But Chelsea's Adrian Mutu equalised in the 62nd minute and 10 minutes later Daniel Pancu made it 2-1 for the visitors before Laursen's last-gasp strike.

    "If it hadn't been for our great luck and a fantastic performance by Thomas Sorensen we would not have got the draw," Tomasson told reporters.

    Romania and Denmark, who have played a game less, both have 14 points, two points ahead of Bosnia, 1-0 winners in Luxembourg.

    Denmark play Bosnia away on October 11 and a draw will seal the 1992 European champions an automatic place in the finals.

    "We have great respect for Bosnia but we will play to win," Olsen said.


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