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Brøndby break Laudrup's duck

Published: Thursday 30 June 2005, 7.59CET
Monthly review: Brøndby IF wrested the Danish title from FC København, with the new season to start in mid-July.

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Published: Thursday 30 June 2005, 7.59CET

Brøndby break Laudrup's duck

Monthly review: Brøndby IF wrested the Danish title from FC København, with the new season to start in mid-July.
By Peter Bruun

For the fifth season running Brøndby IF and FC København occupied the top two positions in the Danish Superleague, but for the first time since 2001/02 the championship left the Parken stadium.

Laudrup landmark
Michael Laudrup never won the Danish title as a player but has now done so as a coach. His Brøndby side finished 12 points clear to claim a tenth championship - five fewer than FCK. Having already lifted their fifth Danish Cup in May, Brøndby clinched the double on 11 June with a 7-0 win that relegated Herfølge BK along with Randers FC.

European entries
Brøndby will enter the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round against FC Levadia Tallinn or FC Dinamo Tbilisi in the final week of July. FCK and third-placed cup finalists FC Midtjylland come into the UEFA Cup at the same stage in August, while Esbjerg fB, who ended fifth, meet FC Flora of Estonia in the first qualifying round after success in the Fair Play draw.

Royal League quartet
The top three, meanwhile, will be joined by fourth-placed Aalborg BK in the second Royal League starting in December. FCK, who this week signed strikers Marcus Allbäck and Peter Ijeh, start as defending champions having won the inaugural pan-Scandinavian competition.

Season kick-off
For the rest, the focus is the season kick-off on 20 July, when Brøndby welcome Midtjylland while promoted AC Horsens host Viborg FF and fellow newcomers HFK SønderjyskE visit FC Nordsjælland. The champions will entertain FCK on 12 March 2006 with the return scheduled for 30 April.

Rioch for OB
Odense BK, who have EfB first up, sacked coaches Troels Bech and Klavs Rasmussen five days after the end of a season in which they finished sixth, and made the high-profile appointment of former Arsenal FC manager Bruce Rioch.

World Cup revival
Meanwhile, 2005/06 could yet end with Denmark in the FIFA World Cup finals as the combination of a 3-1 win against Albania, a 0-0 draw between Turkey and Greece and Group 2 leaders Ukraine's 1-0 victory against the European champions left the Danes in with a chance of second place, the trip to Turkey on 3 September crucial.

Larsen impresses
Furthermore, national coach Morten Olsen finally seems to have found a successor to centre-forward Ebbe Sand, who retired after UEFA EURO 2004™, following Djurgårdens IF striker Søren Larsen's two goals against Albania.

Last updated: 30/06/05 18.12CET

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